2023 GOVERNORSHIP AND
STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS
EFCC, ICPC ask court to dismiss Keyamo’s suit seeking probe of Atiku
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has asked the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court to dismiss a suit by the minister of state for labour, Festus Keyamo, seeking the probe and prosecution of former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar.
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) also urged Justice James Omotosho to dismiss Keyamo’s case.
The minister, who was also a spokesman for the Tinubu-Shettima Presidential Campaign Council (PCC), in the suit filed on January 20, had sought an order compelling the EFCC, ICPC and the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to probe and prosecute Mr Abubakar following claims by one of his ex-aides, Michael Achimugu, that between 1999 and 2007 when he was vice-president, he conspired with ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo to rip off the country using what he termed “Special Purpose Vehicles.”
At the resumed hearing on Wednesday, lawyers to the EFCC and ICPC, Samuel Okeleke and O.B. Odogu, in two separate preliminary objections, faulted the competence of the suit and prayed the court to dismiss it.
Mr Okeleke argued that Mr Keyamo did not comply with the law’s requirement in filing the suit, arguing that he ought to have first obtained the leave of the court in seeking to compel an agency of the government to act.
The lawyer contended that having failed to comply with the rules, the suit should be ignored.
“We do discrete investigation. He (Keyamo) gave us a 72-hour ultimatum within which to investigate and prosecute the 1st defendant. That is not how we operate. We take our time to do discreet investigation,” Ms Odogu argued.
Mr Abubakar’s lawyer, Benson Igbanoi, also faulted the competence of the suit while arguing the preliminary objection he filed for his client.
Mr Igbanoi, who accused Keyamo of abuse of office, urged the court to decline jurisdiction, among other grounds, that the plaintiff disclosed no cause of action and urged the court to disregard the response filed against his preliminary objection by the plaintiff, arguing that it was filed outside the seven days allowed under the court’s rules.
Mr Keyamo’s lawyer O.C. Uju urged the court to dismiss the objections raised by the defendants and proceeded to hear the case on merit. Mr Uju queried the competence of Mr Abubakar’s objection, arguing that it was filed when the court had not assumed jurisdiction over the case and before he could be served with the originating processes.
After entertaining the arguments, the judge adjourned the case until June 5 to rule on the preliminary objections.
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