Court to hear ex-minister Olu Agunloye’s N1bn suit against EFCC May 9

0
139

A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Thursday, fixed May 9 for hearing in a N1 billion suit filed by Dr Olu Agunloye, former Minister of Power and Steel under ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Justice Emeka Nwite fixed the date after EFCC’s lawyer, Abba Mohammed, sought an adjournment to enable him regularise his processes before the court.

When the matter was called for report of service, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), who is the 2nd defendant in the suit, was not represented in court.

Justice Nwite then asked Agunloye’s counsel, Adeola Adedipe, SAN, if the AGF had been served and he responded in affirmative.

National growth LS

The senior lawyer told the court that though the EFCC filed a motion to regularise their processes, he was not opposing the application.

Mohammed, however, applied that the court file be given to him to verify if their processes were in the court record but Adedipe objected to the request.

“I object to that my lord. I have never seen such practice before where a court file is shown to a party,” he said.

Adedipe further argued that since the matter was ripe for hearing, he sought the leave of court to proceed on the matter if the anti-graft agency’s lawyer had no defence.

But Mohammed prayed the court for an adjournment to enable him put their house in order, even as the AGF was not represented in court.

The judge, who adjourned the matter until May 9 for hearing, directed that the hearing notice be served on the 2nd defendant.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) had, on March 1, reported that the ex-minister had filed the suit against EFCC over allegations that the commission published his name on its website’s wanted list.

Agunloye, in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/167/2024 and filed by his team of lawyers led by Adedipe, also joined the AGF as 2nd defendant.

In the originating summons, dated and filed Feb. 8, the ex-minister sought six reliefs, including a declaration that the EFCC cannot lawfully exercise its discretion, powers and or functions under Sections 1(2\(c\, 6, 7, 13 of the EFCC Act, 2004, ditto Section 4 of the Police Act 2020, by declaring him wanted on its official website or any other related platform.

Agunloye said this was without recourse to any safeguard in Sections 34({1)(a), 35, 37, 39, 41 and 42 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), including a judicial intervention, order or leave of court pursuant to Sections 1(1), 8(1) & 42(2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015.

He, therefore, sought an order for the EFCC, its agents, privies, representatives and other related affiliates to forthwith remove his picture, name, references, details and or particulars from the wanted list published on its official website or any other related platform.

He also sought a perpetual injunction restraining the EFCC and the AGF, “both jointly or severally, whether by themselves or their staff, from further declaring the plaintiff wanted.

“General damages of one billion baira (N1, 000, 000, 000 00) against the defendants, especially the 1st defendant

“Cost of this action.”(NAN)

By Taiye Agbaje

Follow Us On WhatsApp