Crime & Law
Money laundering: Court threatens to strike out Keyamo’s suit against Atiku
A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday, threatened to strike out a suit filed by Mr Festus Keyamo, spokesperson of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council (PCC), against former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar.
Justice James Omotosho, who gave the warning, said if Keyamo was not ready to diligently prosecute the case, the suit would be struck out in the next adjourned date.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Keyamo had instituted the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/84/2023 against Abubakar over allegations bordering on money laundering.
Also joined as defendants in the suit include the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) and the Code of Conduct Bureau.
Keyamo had earlier asked law enforcement agencies to arrest Abubakar based on an audio recording released by Michael Achimugu, his former aide.
READ ALSO: Festus Keyamo Biography, Family, Education, Career and Net Worth
In the audio, the former vice-president was alleged to have explained how shell organisations were set up to divert public funds.
Upon resumed hearing, Keyamo’s counsel, Okechukwu Uju-azorji, said in the last adjourned date, the court granted an order to serve Abubakar (1st defendant) through substituted means.
Uju-azorji said while they were planning to effect the service, Abubakar served on them his statement of defence.
“Have you served them the originating process?,” the judge asked.
The lawyer, who said he was yet to serve Abubakar based on the court order, said he felt Abubakar’s statement of defence was incompetent since he (Abubakar) was yet to be served with their court papers.
Justice Omotosho said he recalled that he adjourned the matter for today because the defendant had within 30 days to respond.
He further said that for Abubakar to have filed his application even before being served with the plaintiff originating process showed he was diligent.
He said the senior lawyer should not have based his failure to effect the service of his application on the incompetency of Abubakar’s process because the news about the matter was on social media.
Uju-azorji also told the court that Keyamo was not within the court jurisdiction to give his evidence in the matter.
The judge then warned the lawyer against turning the court into a dumping ground.
Uju-azorji, therefore, prayed the court for an adjournment to enable him serve Abubakar with the originating process.
Justice Omotosho subsequently adjourned the matter until March 23 for hearing or for striking out.
Keyamo is seeking an order of the court compelling the anti-graft agencies to invite or arrest, investigate and if found wanting, prosecute Abubakar in respect of information available to him.