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EFCC Report: Obasanjo asks court to throw out Atiku’s suit

Posted by By GODWIN TSA Abuja on 2006/09/28 | Views: 595 |

EFCC Report: Obasanjo asks court to throw out Atiku’s suit


As hearing in the suit filed by Vice President Atiku Abubakar against the report of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the administrative panel of inquiry which indicted him of abuse of office comes up, President Olusegun Obasanjo has asked the Federal High Court, in Abuja, to dismiss the suit for lack of jurisdiction.

As hearing in the suit filed by Vice President Atiku Abubakar against the report of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the administrative panel of inquiry which indicted him of abuse of office comes up, President Olusegun Obasanjo has asked the Federal High Court, in Abuja, to dismiss the suit for lack of jurisdiction.

The president, who is challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the case said he did not ask the National Assembly to impeach the vice president, but merely forwarded the report to the National Assembly, the Senate President and the Speaker House of Reps who are the 8th - 10th defendants in Atiku’s suit.

Obasanjo also said that it was not proper for Atiku to sue in his name when he remains vice president.
While asking the court to dismiss the suit, Obasanjo stated: "The action and motion are incompetent as they seek to interfere with the performance of constitutional and statutory duties of the affected statutory bodies, in their exclusive spheres of constitutional activity."

Obasanjo’s lawyer, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), has already filed a notice of preliminary objection, a counter-affidavit and a motion-on-notice, urging the court not to hear Atiku’s suit until the preliminary objection filed by the defendant has been heard and determined.

In a 55-paragraph-counter affidavit deposed to by the Attorney General of the Federation and the Minister of Justice, Chief Bayo Ojo (SAN), the Federal Government described all the points alluded by the vice president as baseless statements not supported by facts.

The Justice Minister averred that that the president did not need a special instrument of appointment to constitute an administrative panel of inquiry, adding that all members were duly sworn in.
On the issue of fair hearing raised in Atiku’s suit, the minister said that the vice president was given fair hearing and that virtually all issues germane to investigating the allegations against him were put to him when the panel met with him.

He said discussion on the two reports, which indicted Atiku, was on the agenda of the Federal Executive Council meeting on the day the vice president was excused out of the FEC meeting. This is contrary to Abubakar’s declaration in his suit.

Ojo deposed thus: " That contrary to paragraph 17(viii) of the main affidavit, the agenda of the Federal Executive Council meeting of the 6th September, 2006, includes the consideration of the report submitted to the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Herewith attached as Exhibit "AG 1" is the Agenda of the FEC meeting of 6th September 2006 showing a consideration of the report of the 7th Defendant among other issues."

Obasanjo told the court that his deputy failed to address issues raised by the EFCC’s report fully as he refused to disclose vital facts to the court to wit:
a. That the plaintiff diverted funds meant for PTDF operations to finance NDTV.
b. That even though the projects for which funds were required in the PTDF were not approved until 2006, the plaintiff had ordered that the money be withdrawn from treasury since 2003.

c. That on 18/10/03 the plaintiff directed the Accountant General of the Federation to release USD$20 million to PTDF, without the approval of the executive council, to enable the PTDF carry out some projects, but the money was not placed there but in STB and TIB accounts.

That the placement of the money in TIB was done to promote the business of NDTV, the plaintiff’s other interests and that of some of his friends and associates.
d. That as soon as the placement was made, NDTV was granted a loan of N400 million on 20/10/03 and N420 million on 22/10/03 by T.I.B.

e. That Otunba Fasawe remitted the sum of N400 million to the plaintiff’s personal Assistant, Alhaji Umaru Pariya on 4/10/2003 which sum Otunba Fasawe recovered through a loan of N420 million received from TIB on 22/10/03 after the PTDF’s funds placement.

f. That the plaintiff paid from his Marine Float Account in Bank PHB the sum of N30 million for the purchase of the property at No. 555 Ademola Adetokunbo Street, Wuse II.
g. That the plaintiff’s property at No. 555, Ademola Adetokunbo Street, Wuse II, is used as the Headquarters of NDTV.
h. That the balance of the purchase money for the property referred to in (g) above was paid after the plaintiff ordered a placement of USD$10 million in TIB and a loan of N400 million was granted by TIB to NDTV.

i. That several other people were paid various sums of money deposited in TIB, pursuant to directive by the plaintiff. Evidence of the beneficiaries and the amount will be given at the trial.
j. That from a total sum of $30 million placed by PTDF in TIB, only the sum of $6.25 million has been repaid, leaving an outstanding balance of $23.75 to date.

k. That the plaintiff also ordered placement of $50 million in ETB.
m. That the plaintiff further directed that the sum of $52.9million dollars and $62.1 million be placed in ETB from the account of PTDF.
n. That the plaintiff stood as surety for Otunba Fasawe when NTDV applied for Value Added Network Service from Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC).

That the placement of the PTDF’s fund were not done arbitrarily but deliberately designed to promote some business ventures in which the plaintiff and some of his friends have interest."
That the placement in TIB for instance, was designed to promote Netlink Digital Televant – NDTV, a satellite television project and Mofas Shipping Company where the Chairman of both companies is Otunba Fasawe, a long standing friend of plaintiff."

That to further buttress the long standing business relationship between the plaintiff and Otunba Fasawe, the latter paid the plaintiff the sum of N61 million on 29/01/01 from his Mofas account with TIB.
That a further sum of N25 million from Mofas Shipping Company’s account of Otunba Fasawe in TIB was transferred to plaintiff’s Marine Float Account in Bank PHB on 18/02/03".
That acting on the facts stated above the plaintiff was indicted by the 7th defendant (EFCC) for embezzlement and fraud.

That contrary to paragraph 17(ix) of the Affidavit in support of the Originating Summons sworn to by Umar Pariya, the President merely explained to the plaintiff/respondent that it would not be proper for him to sit in judgment over his own case which was about to be discussed.

That despite the friendship of Otunba Fasawe with the president, the president did not influence events when Otunba Fasawe was arrested and interrogated by the 7th defendant to corroborate the fact that the president does not support misappropriation of public funds under any guise.

That there is no way the president would have known the source of funds which all stakeholders in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) contributed towards the success of the party at the elections.
That neither the president nor the EFCC (7th defendant) has constitutional power to implement any of the recommendations in the two reports.

That the president merely forwarded the report without more for the consideration of the 8th – 10th defendants (the National Assembly, the Senate President and the Speaker House of Reps.) and did not advise them on what to do.

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Olusola Okhiria Nee Sodunke(Newport, Newport, UK)says...

This is a great piece of history, which is dear to our hearts as people and very much appreciated.

Many thanks to the people who worked hard in the past and those who are still making efforts to keep the institution.

The labour is obviouly worth it. We are proud of you all.

A lot still to be done, with the motivation of the champions of this course, others will follow as well to maintain the institution

May God continue to keep the edifice for development of future generations to the glory of God and the benefits of our fatherland.

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Joel Efiong(Calabar, Nigeria)says...

This is a great piece. The examination bodies should hire you as ICT consultant.

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Sunday Mbe(Kaduna, Kaduna, Nigeria)says...

ULIMASI means' GOD,THANK YOU' not THANK GOD.

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Sunday Mbe(Kaduna, Kaduna, Nigeria)says...

The name ULIMASI is from the UTUGWANG tribe in OBUDU local government area of CROSS RIVER STATE in Nigeria.

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Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)