Oshiomhole Asks Court to Dismiss Corruption Allegations Against Him

Ex-Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams OsOshiomholehas sked a Federal High Court in Abuja to strike out a suit seeking to compel the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate him.
In Tuesday’s proceedings, the Governor said the suit asking for his investigation for fraud related allegations wad incompetent and status barred.
In a notice of preliminary objection challenging the suit by an Edo based human rights activist, Bishop Osadolor Ochei, Oshiomhole said the plaintiff lacked the locus standi to institute the legal action.
Ochei had approached the court with an application seeking an order of mandamus to compel the EFCC to arrest and commence criminal proceedings against Oshiomhole over alleged financial fraud while in office.
In an affidavit deposed personally by the applicant, he averred that, in view of the fact that corruption has become a societal ill which has eaten deep into the fabric of the society, there is the need for the EFCC to take complaints against corrupt practices serious.
He said he has severally complained to the EFCC about allegation of corrupt practices against Oshiomhole without eliciting any response or interest by the commission.
According to him: “On May 4, 2012, one Matthew Edaghese sent a petition to the EFCC, complaining that while serving as Governor, Oshiomhole built mansions on a huge expanse of land worth more than N10bn, in excess of the former Goverrnor’s legitimate means of income.
“That EFCC did nothing about the petition”, Bishop Ochei stated and added that he had, in 2016 filed a petition against Oshiomhole’s corrupt practices without any action by the EFCC.
He accused the former Governor of corruptly enriching himself with the fund of the Edo state government.
But the former Governor in his motion, Tuesday also asked the court to strike out prayer one of the applicant’s motion on notice for being premature and incompetent.
In the preliminary objection of the former Governor, who is the second defendant in the suit, said 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 offence being complained about.
While noting that the Bishop Ochei right of action has become unenforceable, Oshiomhole, now the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), said the applicant has not disclosed that he has legal right to file and maintain the action for judicial review, “having not shown how the actions of the second respondent/applicant affected him over and above other residents and indigenes of Edo State.”
Oshiomhole, through his counsel, Damian Dodo (SAN), further argued 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.
The matter was adjourned to Nov 19 for hearing of the preliminary objection.
Justice Anwuli Chikere had on October 8, ordered in a ruling on the ex-parte application that the former Governor be served with court processes.
She also ordered that the EFCC be served with the same court process, stressing 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 motion with Suit No FHC/ABJ/CS/628/ 2018, has Oshiomole and the EFCC as first and seconnd respondents respectively.
On the last adjourned date, Dr 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.

Author: News Editor

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