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Corruption: Audu drags EFCC to court

Posted by By GODWIN TSA Abuja. on 2006/10/10 | Views: 449 |

Corruption: Audu drags EFCC to court


Former Governor of Kogi State, Prince Abubakar Audu has dragged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] and its Chairman, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu before an Abuja Federal High Court, where he is challenging the allegation of corruption made against him by the commission.

Former Governor of Kogi State, Prince Abubakar Audu has dragged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] and its Chairman, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu before an Abuja Federal High Court, where he is challenging the allegation of corruption made against him by the commission.

This is coming as indigenes of Kogi State have charged the EFCC to retract its claims of alleged corrupt practices levelled against the former governor.

The anti-graft commission declared Prince Audu wanted over corrupt related offences he allegedly committed during his tenure as the executive governor of the State. But in the suit which was filed by his counsel, Chief Wole Olanikpekun [SAN], the former governor is challenging the power of the EFCC to carry out its investigative power retroactively.
He is contending that he had completed his tenure before the enabling Act of EFCC was passed.

In addition, the suit is challenging the power of the commission to investigate the ex-governor’s activities, which he carried out while in office and was covered by Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution, which conferred immunity on him.

Specifically, the Originating Summon asked the court to determine “whether the defendants have the jurisdiction, power and authority to investigate any alleged act of conspiracy, abuse of office, official corruption, theft of government property and money laundering against the plaintiff while he was governor of Kogi State between May 1999 and May 2003.”

It also stated that since the “particular offences allegedly committed were before the creation of the first defendant, EFCC, the defendants have no power, jurisdiction to investigate the alleged offences.”
The plaintiff asked the court for a declaration that the letter reference number

CR.3000/EFCC/ABJ/VOL.1/24 dated Sept. 13, 2006 written to the plaintiff by the defendants, inviting plaintiff for interview in respect of alleged offences of conspiracy, abuse of office, official corruption, theft of government property and money laundering is ultra vires, the powers and jurisdiction of the defendants, unconstitutional, null and void.”

Meanwhile, the indigenes, under the auspices of Igala Concerned Citizen (ICC), were reacting to a recent EFCC indictment of some present and past states governors before the Senate.
ICC refuted the claims by the commission that Audu over inflated contracts executed during his tenure and that he was on the run and would soon be extradited.

In a statement by ICC signed by its Chairman, Alhassan Ogwu, said that during his tenure, Audu put in selfless services to the development of Kogi State and the nation at large.
They contended that as a confirmation of his good work and unbeatable record, Audu won seven trophies to his credit and in 2002, he was awarded the best performing governor of the third republic.


“Prince Audu’s legacies and landmark cannot be surpassed, even if all the past administration in Kogi
State are put together” the group said.
They called on the Commission to tender apology to Audu and the State in general and to retract its claims that Audu ran away and would soon be extradited from the United Kingdom.
The group said that Audu had embarked on a trip abroad
specifically on Sept. 4 before an EFCC’s invitation dated September 13, was delivered in his residence on September 14.

“If as at today, all other governors and ex-governors on the so call corruption list of EFCC are still moving freely and no one has been arrested or detained, then for what reasons will Audu run” they said.
“Since he left office about three and half years ago he has been moving around the world freely and come back to meet his teeming supporters and admirers waiting to receive him at the airport,” they added.
The suit has been slated for hearing on Tuesday, October 10 before Justice Binta Murtala-Nyako.

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