Former Delta State Governor, Chief James Ibori .
By Adebiyi Adedapo
A Federal High Court in Abuja will on Friday, determine whether or not the applicant-intervener in the N15 million bribe allegedly offered by the former Delta State Governor, Chief James Ibori, will be admitted as a party in the suit.
The bribe was purportedly offered to the former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, during his days as the commission’s chair.
The applicant-intervener, Olalekan Bayode, resident in Lagos had through his counsel, John Olufemi Aina, applied to be joined as a party in the matter.
Neither Bayode nor his counsel was present in court.
Aina had written a letter directly to the presiding judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, seeking an adjournment due to poor health.
Kolawole, who had earlier cautioned Aina over what he described as an abuse of court process, as he said all correspondence should be addressed to the court registrar.
Following their absence, counsel to EFCC, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) urged the court to dismiss application.
While the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Delta State, C. A. Ajuya (SAN), prayed the court to consider Bayode’s application for argument by parties irrespective of his absence.
The court in line with Order 22 Rule 9 of the Federal High Court rule adopted their motion application in the applicants’ absence and was argued by existing parties in matter.
Ajuya opposed the application and prayed the court to dismiss it on the grounds that Bayode did not state a justifiable reason why the application should be granted, adding that the applicant didn’t state why he filed the application out of time.
He also said Bayode’s interest was hinged on the management of the funds, which according to him was not the interest of the court.
“The intervener’s application bothers on management of the funds, that is not the business of the court, the court is to determine who is entitled to it, it is our own in Delta and he can manage it,” he said.
Counsel to EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), in his argument, stated that the Bayode ought to show the court that he had a legal right on the action before the court, and that the court would not effectively decide the case in his absence.
According to Jacobs, that would be the only condition for the court to exercise its discretion to accommodate the intervener applicant.
Justice Kolawole adjourned the matter till November 23 for ruling.