The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to dismiss a suit filed by the Minister of State for Labour, Festus Keyamo, seeking an investigation and prosecution of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) also requested that Keyamo’s case be dismissed by Justice James Omotosho.
In the suit filed on January 20, the minister, who was also a spokesman for the Tinubu-Shettima Presidential Campaign Council (PCC), sought an order compelling the EFCC, ICPC, and the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to investigate 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 Oba
Read Also: Group wants Police to arrest George Uboh within 48hrs over blackmail of 200 prominent Nigerians
At the resumed hearing on Wednesday, lawyers for the EFCC and ICPC, Samuel Okeleke and O.B. Odogu, raised concerns about the suit’s competence and asked the court to dismiss it.
Mr Okeleke argued that Mr Keyamo did not follow the law’s requirement in filing the suit, arguing that he should have first obtained the court’s permission before attempting to compel a government agency to act.
The lawyer argued that because the plaintiff had not followed the rules, the suit should be dismissed.
“We conduct discrete investigations.” He (Keyamo) gave us a 72-hour deadline to investigate and prosecute the first defendant. That is not how we work. “We take our time to conduct a discreet investigation,” Ms Odogu contended.
Benson Igbanoi, Mr Abubakar’s lawyer, also questioned the suit’s competence while arguing the preliminary objection he filed on his client’s behalf.
Mr Igbanoi, who accused Keyamo of abuse of office, urged the court to decline jurisdiction on the grounds that the plaintiff failed to disclose a cause of action and urged the court to disregard the plaintiff’s response to his preliminary objection, arguing that it was filed outside the seven-day period allowed by the court’s rules.
Mr. Keyamo’s lawyer, O.C. Uju, urged the court to dismiss the defendants’ objections and proceed with the case on merits. Mr Uju questioned Mr Abubakar’s objection’s competence, claiming that it was filed before the court had assumed jurisdiction over the case and before he could be served with the originating processes.
The judge adjourned the case until June 5 to rule on the preliminary objections after hearing the arguments.