Like persistent, soothing draft of the north wind across the Pacific, glad tidings of happiness and joy rent the air in Aiteo Group, even as you read. The reason is hardly far-fetched! A federal high court in Abuja has ruled a stay of action in the case brought against Benedict Peters, founder and chief executive officer of Aiteo Group.
In February, the group got an interlocutory injection restraining the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the attorney general of the federation (AGF) from interfering or obstructing its business operations.
In suit number FCT/HC/CV0536/17, the court heard that properties belonging exclusively to Peters were wrongfully included in a list of properties allegedly owned by Diezani Alison-Madueke, former Minister of Petroleum.
At the hearing on Monday, Peters asked the court to restrain EFCC and the UK-based agencies from â€œinterfering/continued interference with the properties, either by way of criminal indictment, charge, interdiction, extradition or in any other manner infringing in the quiet and peaceable enjoyment of the said properties.â€
Peters also demanded $5 billion in compensation for what he described as a â€œseries of unlawful and fraudulent conspiracies allegedly organised by the EFCC, AGF, the National Crime Agency and Crown Prosecution Service (UK) and individuals, Helen Hughes, Stacey Boniface, and John Banisterâ€. A.T Gazali, counsel to the AGF challenged the ruling, arguing that the defendants were entitled to the protection of sovereign immunity. After listening to the arguments of both counsel, the court made an order enjoining the parties to maintain the status quo. The case was adjourned till a date to be communicated to the parties.