National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has queried the competence of a suit seeking his probe by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for corruption related conduct.
Oshiomhole, who also questioned the plaintiff’s right under the law, to seek to compel the EFCC to probe his tenure as Governor of Edo State, urged the court to dismiss the suit for being incompetent.
The plaintiff, Bishop Osadolor Ochei said he, on October 28, 2016 petitioned the EFCC, demanding that Oshiomhole be investigated on some allegations he (Ochei) has made against the ex-Governor.
The said his suit, filed before the Federal High Court, Abuja and marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/ was as a result of the EFCC’s alleged failure to act on his petition.
Plaintiff’s lawyer, West Idahosa said the court that there were documents and electronic pictures of palatial houses credited to the former governor, whose earnings throughout his lifetime, according to the plaintiff, could not have been able to afford.
Idahosa said, among other allegations, there was evidence that the ex-Governor allegedly diverted Edo State’s funds.
He claimed that there are also vouchers of exorbitant air fares that the former governor allegedly incurred.
Oshiomhole, in a notice of preliminary objection filed by his lawyer, Damien Dodo (SAN), argued that the plaintiff lacked the locus stand to bring the suit.
In the objection, supported by 10 grounds, Oshiomhole argued that the suit has become a mere academic exercise since the plaintiff failed to file the suit for judicial review within three months of the occurrence of the subject of the case.
He argued that the action or inaction of the EFCC being subjected to review by the proceedings occurred on December 13, 2016, while the plaintiff only institute the action for judicial review on June 13, 2018.
He noted that this came about 18 months after the occurrence of the alleged failure being complained about.
Oshiomhole contended that the plaintiff’s right of action has become unenforceable, because Ochei has been unable to state that he has the legal right to file and maintain the suit for judicial review, “having not shown how the actions of the second respondent/applicant affected him over and above other residents and indegenes of Edo State.”
He further argued that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the suit for failure of the plaintiff to commence the action within the time provided by extant rules of the court and for failure to disclose locus standi to file the action.
The judge, Justice Anwuli Chikere, had on October 8, 2018, granted leave to the plaintiff to commence the suit for “judicial review”.
Justice Chikere granted the leave upon an ex parte motion to that effect filed by the plaintiff and ordered that Oshiomhole and the EFCC be served with all the processes filed in the suit.
The EFCC was not represented by any lawyer when the case came up on Tuesday.
Idahosa told the court that the commission was duly served as ordered by the court, following which the judge adjourned to November 19 for hearing
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