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Sunday, December 4, 2022

Senator Saraki’s case against the EFCC, and others has been set for trial

Federal High Court in Abuja set a hearing on a claim filed by former Senator President Bukola Saraki against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and others for July 27.  

The case was adjourned by Justice Inyang Ekwo so that the parties can submit and exchange their processes in the lawsuit.  

The development followed the absence of counsel for the case’s first, second, third, and fourth respondents. 

However, According to news reports, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Inspector-General of Police (IGP), and State Security Service (SSS) are the first, second, and third defendants, respectively.  

The EFCC, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), and the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) are the other responses, ranking fourth through sixth. 

The EFCC announced in 2019 that it would investigate Saraki’s profits between 2003 and 2011 while governor of Kwara.  

The commission have several of his properties in Lagos’ Ikoyi neighborhood at the time. 

Saraki, on the other hand, filed two separate lawsuits against the EFCC on May 10, 2019: FHC/ABJ/CS/507/19 and FHC/ABJ/CS/508/19 before Justice Taiwo Taiwo. 

The sitting judge, Justice Taiwo, ruled on an ex parte application submitted in connection with the substantive suits.  

See also Buhari cautions EFCC against government interference

The judge ordered the anti-corruption agency (4th respondent) and the other five respondents to the suits to halt their investigations pending the outcome of the applicant’s motion on notice. 

The order was granted after Saraki’s counsel, Sunday Onubi, filed the case on May 14, 2019. 

By delaying the investigation, the court had ordered the parties to maintain the status quo. 

However, the EFCC eventually requests that the judge recuse himself and the case be transferred to another court. 

The case was reassigned to Justice Anwuli Chikere for adjudication after Justice Taiwo returned the case file to the chief judge.  

On July 14, 2021, EFCC Counsel Chile Okoronkwo protested before Justice Chikere that Taiwo’s ruling has prevented the agency from “doing its responsibilities for approximately two years already.” 

Senator Saraki continues to rely on the court’s injunction whenever he is invited, according to the lawyer, who urges the court to overturn the decision. 

Following Chikere’s retirement, the suits referred to Justice Ekwo. 

Senator Saraki’s lawyer, Lukaman Saidu, advised Saraki’s lawyers on Thursday that the matter will be further.  

AGF, I-G, SSS, and EFCC, on the other hand, did not have a lawyer present. 

Justice Ekwo then inquired if the respondents had received the hearing notices for the action.  

See also EFCC frees Obiano, makes no political statements

Saidu also confirmed that all processes served on the respondents. 

However, Lawyer to the ICPC, O. A. Ikupolati told the court that the commission filed a notice of preliminary objection in 2019 with a counter affidavit. 

Also counsel for CCB, Ekenma Okafor, spoke in the same vein. 

She also said the agency also filed a notice of preliminary and counter affidavit to Senator Saraki’s applications. 

When Ekwo asked if Saidu had received any process from 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th respondents, the lawyer said only the 4th (EFCC) defendant had responded to their motions. 

The judge then adjourned the matter until July 27 for further mention, dire ting that hear I notices be issues and served on 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th respondents. 

 

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