- Nigeria's federal government has lost four corruption cases withing five days.
- Elder Godsday Orubebe, the minister of Niger Delta Affairs under former President Goodluck Jonathan was acquitted by an Abuja High Court sitting at Apo
- Also a High Court in Maitama, the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja dismissed all the 18 corruption charges filed against Justice Adeniyi Ademola, his wife Olubowale
- In the same manner, a Federal High Court in Lagos unfroze former first lady Patience Jonathan's account containing $5.9m
In what can be termed as an embarrassment to the Buhari’s administration who came to power on the promise of fighting corruption, the federal government, through its agencies, lost four legal battles within five days.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) lost two while the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) lost one each.
NAIJ.com reports that one of such cases was that of Nigeria’s former first lady, Patience Jonathan, whose account with Skye Bank was unfrozen by a federal high court sitting in Lagos.
NAIJ.com also recalls that the EFCC initiated the suit and the former first lady’s $5 million account was frozen.
Adedayo Adedipe, her counsel, had urged the court to unfreeze the account on the grounds that Jonathan was not a party in the suit leading to the order made by the court and Mojisola Olatoregun, the presiding judge, upheld the submission of Adedipe and discharged the order freezing the account.
Also, the EFCC asked a federal high court in Lagos to order the temporary forfeiture of N75 million in the account of Mike Ozekhome, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN).
The EFCC argued that the amount deposited in the said account on December 15, 2016, is suspected to be proceeds of crime.
Consequently, Abdulaziz Anka, the judge, ordered that Ozekhome’s account with the sum of N75 million be forfeited for 120 days.
Ozekhome subsequently described the ruling asOzekhome subsequently described the ruling as “insidious, odious and invidious and from the pit of hell.”
Less than 120 days after the court order, the judge said that the EFCC’s position does not hold water, and the forfeiture he initially ordered cannot be sustained. He therefore lifted the restriction on Ozekhome’s account.
Also in October 2016, in what was believed to be a crackdown on the judiciary, Adeniyi Ademola, was arrested alongside a number of other judges for corruption and possession of firearms.
The federal government says Ademola received $520,000 as gratification from some law firms between 2013 and 2016 and also insisted that there are 14 witnesses ready to testify against the judge.
NAIJ.com recalls that Ademola said he was arrested because he granted Sambo Dasuki bail and freed Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) leader.
However, things took a new twist when the judge presiding over the case, Jude Okeke, declared Ademola not guilty on an 18-count charge of corruption and illegal possession of firearm brought against him.
Okeke in his ruling says the prosecution did not adduce enough evidence to warrant the defendants to enter defence.
He also argued that the prosecution did not establish a prima facie case against the defendants, and held that no iota of evidence to prove that the defendants were guilty of the charges levelled against them.
Another case the federal government lost is the case of Godsday Orubebe, former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, who was charged to court by ICPC, in 2016 for N1.97 billion fraud, bothering on the diversion of funds meant for the compensation of owners of property on the Eket Urban section of the East-West road in Eket, Akwa Ibom State.
The attorney general of the federation, Abubakar Malami, in a letter to the chairman of ICPC, submitted that the case of misappropriation does not exist, and further prosecution cannot be justified.
Consequently, Orubebe was therefore discharged and acquitted on Tuesday, as the ICPC withdrew the case against him.
Meanwhile, in the video below, NAIJ.com brings you the court appearance of Andrew Yakubu, former NNPC managing director who was recently arraigned over fraud.