Alex Enumah in Abuja
National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has asked the Federal High Court, Abuja, to dissmiss a suit seeking to compel the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate and prosecute him over corruption allegations.
An Edo based human rights activist, Bishop Osadolor Ochei, had approached the Federal High Court, Abuja, for an order compelling the EFCC to investigate and prosecute Oshiomole for allegedly siphoning funds belonging to Edo State when he was governor of the state.
But Oshiomole, in a notice of preliminary objection to the suit Tuesday asked the court to dismiss the suit for lacking in merit and for also being status barred.
The former governor in his notice of preliminary objection filed by his lawyer, Damian Dodo SAN, maintained that the plaintiff lacked the locus standi to institute the legal action.
Oshiomole, who predicated his request on 10 grounds, argued that the applicant ought to file the instant suit for judicial review within three months of occurrence of the subject of the application.
He added that the action of the EFCC which is being subjected to review by the instant proceedings occurred on December 13, 2016, while the proceedings for judicial review commenced on June 13, 2018, 18 months after the occurrence of the alleged failure being complained about.
The senior lawyer arguing further said that the plaintiff’s right of action had become unenforceable.
Attacking the issue of locus to file the suit, Dodo said that the plaintiff had not shown how the actions of the second respondent/applicant affected him over and above other residents and indigenes of Edo State.
In addition, Oshiomhole submitted that the court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the suit for failure of the Bishop 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.
At the last adjournment, trial judge, Justice Anwuli Chikere had in a ruling on the exparte application ordered the plaintiff to serve the court processes on Oshiomole and the EFCC.
The judge also ordered that the service be done within five days from October 9, 2018 when the order was made.
But when the matter came up Tuesday, the EFCC was not represented by any counsel in court.
The applicant’s counsel, West Idahosa, told the court that the anti-graft commission was duly served.
The ex-parte with Suit No FHC/ABJ/CS/628/ 2018, has Oshiomole and the EFCC as first and seconnd respondents respectively.
Idahosa, in arguing the motion, however, urged the court to allow the respondents file their reply to the weighty allegations made against them by the applicant in support of the federal government’s anti-corruption fight.
The matter has been adjourned till November 19 for hearing of the preliminary objection.
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