The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) misled the court into granting an order of temporal forfeiture of assets being linked to Haruna Momoh, former managing director of the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC), the lawyer has alleged.
Ade Adedeji, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), said the ICPC is only seeking cheap publicity.
He is representing Blaid group, the company owned by Ochuko, Momoh’s wife, whose assets are being linked to the husband.
He said the ICPC failed to inform the federal capital territory (FCT) high court about a previous order granted by Binta Nyako, a judge of the federal high court, directing the commission to refrain from investigation and release assets belonging to Blaid construction company and Ochuko Momoh.
“ICPC had appealed the judgment through filing of notice of appeal. But rather than prosecute their appeal, they surreptitiously approached the FCT high court and misled the court as if the appeal never existed,” he said.
“And without disclosing to the new court that there was a judgment of the federal high court against them, they moved the court ex-parte to grant an order of temporary forfeiture.”
Describing the move by ICPC to obtain a forfeiture order as “an abuse of court process”, Adedeji said it is a means to score cheap publicity while boosting their image as “hard-working and crime busters”.
He said steps are being taken to vacate the order of temporary forfeiture.
The lawyer said: “We are also considering filing petitions against counsel involved in misrepresenting facts to court to obtain ex-parte order which ordinarily would not have been granted.”
Meanwhile, a statement by Rasheedat Okoduwa, the spokesperson for the commission, on Monday had said investigations revealed that the former PPMC MD misused his office to enrich himself, using several companies, including Blaid Property Limited and Blaid Construction Limited.
Momoh’s lawyers have denied any wrongdoing, insisting that the wife is being persecuted in an attempt to get to the husband.
All the businesses under probe, the lawyers said, belong to the wife and the husband never had anything to do with them.
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