Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja, on Tuesday, withdrew from the 19 suits filed last year in respect of the validity or otherwise of Ibrahim Magu remaining the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The decision was in connection with the ongoing trial of the judge’s husband and former governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako; and her stepson, Senator Abdulaziz Nyako, bordering on corruption charges before another judge of the court, Justice Okon Abang.
The EFCC, Tuesday, requested that all cases involving the agency and its acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu be transferred from Justice Nyako‘s court to any other judge.
The agency’s request was contained in a letter dated October 5, 2018, and addressed to the Registrar of Justice Nyako’s court.
The anti-graft agency had on July 31 through its counsel, Wahab Shittu, requested the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Adamu Abdu-Kafarati, to re-assign all the cases against Magu from Justice Nyako ‘s court to another.
Shittu said the reason for the request was contained in another letter the agency wrote on July 30 to its counsel, authorising him to apply for a re-assigment of all cases involving Magu, pending before Justice Nyako.
According to the letter of authority signed by Magu, the anti-graft agency stated that, “the application is necessary to avoid bias and conflict of interest because the commission is currently prosecuting the spouse and step son of His Lordship, namely; Admiral Murtala Nyako (retd) and Senator Abdulazeez Nyako respectively”.
The letter reads in part: “Respectfully, we write to draw His Lordship’s attention to our letter dated 31st July, 2018, addressed to the Honorable Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, conveying our client’s request to the Chief Judge to the Federal High Court that all matter concerning the subject matter above be transferred from this honorable court for reasons contained on our clients attached letter.
“Respectfully we tremble in requesting that out client’s position be respected in the interest of justice in this matter.
“Kindly draw his lordship attention to our clients ‘ predicament as expressed in attached letter now receiving the consideration of his Lordship, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court”.
Justice Nyako, who announced her withdrawal from the suits in the court on Tuesday, said her decision was influenced by EFCC’s repeated formal requests to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Adamu Abdu-Kafarati, demanding the re-assignment of the matters to another judge of the court.
After withdrawing from the cases on Tuesday, she adjourned the case sine die (indefinitely) pending when the Chief Judge would re-assign the cases to another judge.