Court Grants Leave To Plaintiff Seeking To Disqualify Saraki, Akpabio From Screening Magu, Case Adjourned To Feb. 28

0
515

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Wednesday February 15, 2017 granted a motion by an anti-corruption activist, Raji Rasheed Oyewumi for substituted service of the Originating Summons and other processes on 1st to 13th Defendants in the suit seeking to disqualify the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Senator Godswill Akpabio and 9 other senators who are either standing trial or under investigation for corruption from taking part in the screening and confirmation of Mr. Ibrahim Magu as the substantive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/102/2017 was filed on Monday 13th February 2017 on behalf of the Plaintiff by a human rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong.

In the motion which was supported by an 8 paragraph affidavit and a written address, the Applicant prayed the Court for “AN ORDER of this Honourable Court granting leave to the Plaintiff/Applicant to effect service of the Originating Summons, accompanying processes and subsequent Court processes in this suit on the 1st to the 13th Defendants by delivering same to the Clerk of the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at Old Building, White House, National Assembly Complex, Three Arms Zone, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.”

Also joined in the main suit apart from Saraki and Akpabio are Jonah Jang, Aliyu Wammako, Stella Oduah, Theodore Orji, Rabiu Kwankwaso, Ahmed Sani, Danjuma Goje, Joshua Dariye and Adammu Abdullahi.

Others are the Clerk of the National Assembly, the Senate, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Magu.

In the suit, the Plaintiff wants the Court to determine 5 issues:

1. Whether the 1st Defendant will not violate the provisions of Section 56, 172 of, and Paragraphs 1 and 9 of the Fifth Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) if he presides over or participates in the screening or deliberation on the nomination of the 15th Defendant for the position of Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in view of his ongoing trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal given that the 15th Defendant coordinated and supervised the criminal investigation which crystallized in the 1st Defendant’s arraignment and ongoing prosecution.

2. Whether the 2nd to the 11th Defendants will not violate the provisions of Section 56, 172 of, and Paragraphs 1 and 9 of the Fifth Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) if they jointly or severally participate in or vote during the screening or deliberation on the nomination of the 15th Defendant for the position of Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in view of their pending or ongoing cases of financial and economic crimes given that the 15th Defendant is coordinating and supervising the investigation into or prosecution for the said financial and economic crimes involving the 2nd to 11th Defendants.

3. Whether the 1st to the 11th Defendants violated Rule 74 of the Senate Standing Orders, 2015 (as amended) when they jointly and severally participated in the screening, deliberation and voting on the first or earlier nomination of the 15th Defendant in the 13th Defendant on the 15th day of December 2016 by not declaring their pecuniary interests in view of their pending or ongoing cases of financial and economic crimes given that the 15th Defendant is coordinating and supervising the investigation into or prosecution for the said financial and economic crimes involving the 2nd to 11th Defendants.

4. Whether the 1st to the 13th Defendants violated Rule 118 & 119 of the Senate Standing Orders, 2015 (as amended) when they jointly and severally decided to screen, deliberate and vote on and reject the first or earlier nomination of the 15th Defendant by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the 15th day of December 2016 without first referring the 15th Defendant to the appropriate committee of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and at an executive or closed session, instead of an open session.

5. Whether the 15th Defendant is entitled to be accorded fair hearing by the 1st to the 13th Defendants during screening, deliberation and voting in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on his nomination for the position of Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Upon the determination of the 5 issues, Mr. Oyewumi is asking the Court for the following reliefs:

1. A DECLARATION that the 1st Defendant is disqualified by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and the Senate Standing Orders, 2015 (as amended) from presiding over or participating in the deliberation, screening and voting on the nomination of the 15th Defendant for the position of Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission due to the apparent conflict of interest arising from the 15th Defendant’s active role in his ongoing trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

2. A DECLARATION that the 2nd to the 11th Defendants are jointly and severally disqualified by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and the Senate Standing Orders, 2015 (as amended) from participating in the deliberation, screening and voting on the nomination of the 15th Defendant for the position of Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission due to the apparent conflict of interest arising from their pending or ongoing cases of financial and economic crimes given that the 15th Defendant is coordinating and supervising the investigation into or prosecution for the said financial and economic crimes.

3. A DECLARATION that the 1st to the 13th Defendants jointly and severally violated the Senate Standing Orders, 2015 (as amended) when they participated in the screening, deliberation and voting on the first or earlier nomination of the 15th Defendant in the 13th Defendant on the 15th day of December 2016 by not declaring their pecuniary interests in view of their pending or ongoing cases of financial and economic crimes given that the 15th Defendant is coordinating and supervising the investigation into or prosecution for the said financial and economic crimes involving the 2nd to 11th Defendants.

4. A DECLARATION that the first and earlier rejection of the nomination of the 15th Defendant for the position of Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission by the 1st to the 13th Defendants on the 15th day of December 2016 without first referring the 15th Defendant to the appropriate committee of the 13th Defendant and at an executive or closed session instead of an open session is illegal, null, void and of no effect whatsoever.

5. A DECLARATION that the 15th Defendant is entitled to be accorded fair hearing by the 1st to the 13th Defendants during screening, deliberation and voting in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on his nomination for the position of Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

6. AN ORDER of injunction restraining the 1st Defendant from presiding over or participating in the screening, deliberation and voting on the nomination of the 15th Defendant for the position of Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

7. AN ORDER of injunction restraining the 2nd to the 11th Defendants from participating in the screening, deliberation and voting on the nomination of the 15th Defendant for the position of Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

8. AND for such further order or other orders as this Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances of this case.

The case has been adjourned to February 28, 2017.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here