Thursday, April 6, 2017

Federal Court Refuses To Order Attorney General To Investigate Ribadu, Waziri, Lamorde, Magu

An FCT High Court, Jabi, has struck out an application seeking an order to compel the Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, to investigate former heads of the anti-graft agency, EFCC.

Justice Abba-Bello Muhammad, struck out the application after listening to the submission of the applicants’ counsel, Frank Tietie.

Plaintiffs in the matter with suit number M/4853/17 were George Uboh and George Uboh Whistleblower Network.

Mr. Muhammad struck out the suit on the ground that the applicants lacked the locus standi to compel the Attorney- General to investigate past chairmen of Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC.

According to the judge, the applicants have no power under the provisions of the law to decide for the AGF who to prosecute.

   ''I have examined the application of the applicants seeking an order of the court to commence an action of mandamus on the respondents.

   ''Applicant must have a locus standi before such an application can be granted.'' The judge said.

According to Mr. Muhammad, a private legal practitioner has no locus standi to compel the AGF to prosecute a person.

The judge added that Section 383 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, was specific on when a private legal practitioner could compel the AGF to investigate an individual

The applicants had prayed the court, to exercise its powers under Section 174 of the 1999 Constitution and order the AGF to investigate and prosecute former and present EFCC chairmen.

Those listed for investigation were pioneer chairman of EFCC, Nuhu Ribadu; his successor, Farida Waziri; immediate past chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde; current acting chairman, and Ibrahim Magu.

The plaintiffs claimed that the past EFCC heads refused to account for recovered money in accordance with Section 15, 16, and 17 of the EFCC Act.

They said that the respondent owed them a duty to prosecute the EFCC chairmen.


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