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EFCC report: Atiku accuses FG of attempts to frustrate suit

Posted by By GODWIN TSA, ABUJA on 2006/11/23 | Views: 582 |

EFCC report: Atiku accuses FG of attempts to frustrate suit


Vice President Atiku Abubakar has accused the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Bayo Ojo of deliberate plans to frustrate the suit he instituted against the Federal Government over the reports of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Administrative Panel of Inquiry headed by the minister, which indicted him of abuse of office.

Vice President Atiku Abubakar has accused the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Bayo Ojo of deliberate plans to frustrate the suit he instituted against the Federal Government over the reports of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Administrative Panel of Inquiry headed by the minister, which indicted him of abuse of office.

Atiku is asking the court to set aside the two reports, alleging that he was not given fair hearing during the investigation.
Atiku’s accusation came on the heels of an application by counsel to the minister, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN).
Tempers were high at Wednesday proceedings, necessitating the threat by trial judge, Justice Abimbola Ogie, to abandon the trial for counsels to the parties to conduct.

Those who engaged in war of words were Chief Babalola and Chief Wole Olanikpekun (SAN), counsel to Atiku.
Justice Ogie had cause to caution the senior lawyers for the second time when her earlier threat to abandon the case for them did not sink. She cautioned them to remember that they were not parties to the suit and should therefore detach sentiments from their action, adding that as senior counsels and members of the inner bar, their conduct should be exemplary.

The crux of the altercation between Atiku’s counsel and Ojo’s was the ruling of the court on November 7, 2006, wherein the court dismissed the preliminary objection filed by Babalola against Atiku’s suit and ordered that the case be determined on time.
Counsel to Atiku, Chief Olanipekun, urged the court to throw out Babalola’s application describing it as an abuse of court process and a ploy to delay the trial.

According to Olanipekun, “if he is not ready to move his application, I urge the court to strike it out or dismiss it. The application constitutes a gross abuse of the process of the court.
“The court, on its own, on the 7th of November, 2006, when it dismissed the preliminary application by the AGF, ordered that the case be given accelerated hearing. The court also ordered that parties should file their brief of argument.

“None of the party or counsel protested against the order of the court. It means that all of us are bound by the order. It is not fair on the part of Babalola to say that we do not want the case to go on. I urge the court to strike out the application so the coast could be clear for us to go on. It would be difficult for us to go on with the application in place.”

Justice Ogie, in his ruling on the submissions of counsels, ordered that all the parties in the suit meet and sort out documents and exhibits in respect of the case in the next five days.
She reasoned that the step would foreclose either party from springing surprises on each other during trial.
The court further explained that the step would facilitate quick administration of justice.
The case has been adjourned to the 4th of December 4 for hearing.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.