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Court dismisses Oduah's suit to stop bulletproof car probe

17 February 2016, 16:14

Abuja - A Federal High Court in Lagos has dismissed a fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by a former Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, against the Attorney General of the Federation and three others.

Justice Okon Abang, who dismissed Oduah’s suit for want of jurisdiction on Wednesday, ordered her to pay a cost of N15 000 to the AGF.

Oduah had filed the suit in August last year praying the court to restrain agencies of the Federal Government from questioning or prosecuting her over the purchase of two armoured BMW vehicles at a cost of N255m by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority under her watch as the Aviation Minister in 2013.

In her suit, Oduah claimed to have already been probed and exonerated by the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and urged Justice Abang to declare that any further probe would amount to violating her fundamental rights.

The respondents in the suit were the AGF, the EFCC, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission and the Inspector General of Police.

She claimed that the Federal Government had perfected plans to try prominent members of the PDP on trump up charges in a special Lagos State High Court, so as to turn the country into a one-party state.

She begged the court to restrain the respondents from unleashing repression against her.

Also read: I was not sacked by Supreme Court - Oduah

But the EFCC denied doing the bidding of the APC, claiming that it was independent.

It furnished the court with a petition dated October 18, 2013 written by a lawyer from the chambers of Femi Falana (SAN), calling for Oduah’s investigation.

The EFCC disclosed that the said petition was captioned, ‘Request for Investigation of Economic and Financial Crimes of the sum of N255m by Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah’.

The EFCC urged the court to dismiss Oduah’s suit.

But in his judgment, Justice Abang dismissed the EFCC’s objection for not complying with Order 8 Rule 1 of the Fundamental Rights Enforcement Procedure.

“The EFCC did not file any opposition in line with the law,” Justice Abang held.

The judge, however, upheld the preliminary objection filed by the AGF, who challenged the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court in Lagos to entertain Oduah’s suit.

Justice Abang upheld Gazali’s argument and dismissed Oduah’s case.

Source: Punch

- News 24


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