A Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday turned down request by the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), seeking an order quashing the House of Representatives’ report which indicted him and others, over their roles in the Centenary City project in Abuja.
Ayim had approached the court seeking an order to reject the report on grounds that he was not given a fair hearing in the matter.
In the judgment, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba held that the allegation of denial of fair hearing by the House Committee on Federal Capital Territory during the proceedings leading to the report was not cogent enough to warrant the quashing of the report.
The suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/258/2017, was filed on March 29, 2017, against the House of Representatives and the then Chairman of the House Committee on FCT, Mr. Herman Hembe, who was recently sacked as a legislator by the Supreme Court.
While summarising the facts leading to the suit, Justice Dimgba noted that the plaintiff, Centenary City Project, believed that “the House of Representatives’ dim view of the project and the adverse conclusions and recommendations on same were not accidental but were all orchestrated by the second defendant” (Hembe).
The Judge noted that the plaintiff believed that Hembe had “some legacy hatred against the chief promoter of the project, former Senate President and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Pius Anyim”.
Ayim alleged that Hembe had sought to have personal meetings with the plaintiff ahead of the public hearing, “with a view to being compromised, all of which were rebuffed”.
He also alleged that at the public hearing, and even before, the plaintiff through its lawyer, and representatives had sought that the Hembe disqualify himself from the committee’s sittings.
The request was said to have been refused and this was said to have degenerated to some chaos in the House with the plaintiff’s counsel insisting that Hembe must not be part of the committee.
Subsequently, the plaintiffs had failed to appear before the committee through out its sitting.