A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has adjourned till October 7 to hear two separate fundamental human right applications filed by former Senate President Bukola Abubakar Saraki, against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Other respondents in the matter are the Attorney General of the federation, Inspector-General of Police; Department of State Service, Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) and the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
Saraki’s counsel, Sunday Onubi, told Justice Anwuri Chikere on Wednesday that he was in court to mention the (2019) case.
He said he was seeking a date for hearing so he could explain why the respondents are infringing on his client’s fundamental right as a Nigerian.
Our correspondent learnt that Saraki had in 2019 obtained a restraining order from Justice Taiwo Taiwo against the EFCC, DSS and others to stay action in investigating him over allegations of money laundering pending determination of his suit.
The judge later excused himself from the case leading to the Chief Judge transferring the case to Chikere.
On Wednesday, EFCC counsel, Chile Okoroma, contended before the judge that the order by Justice Taiwo had limited the commission from performing its duties with respect to the former senate president.
“On the 14th day of May 2019, your learned brother, Justice Taiwo Taiwo, made an order directing all Respondents to stay action…pending the determination of the case.
“It has hindered the fourth respondent (EFCC) from performing its action for two years,” he said.
Chikere held that she would hear the arguments of the lawyers by October 7.
Recall that the EFCC had vowed to prosecute Saraki over money laundering charges.
“While the EFCC will not allow itself to be drawn by Saraki to take up issues with him on the pages of newspapers, it is pertinent to once again state in clear terms that the probes being carried out by the EFCC are nothing personal, but all about enthroning probity in governance, and letting leaders know that even out of office, they will be held accountable for their stewardship,” it stated in a statement in 2019.
Recall that a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos had on March 2020, struck out a final forfeiture suit filed by the anti-graft agency against two of Saraki’s houses in Ilorin, said to have been acquired from state funds.