Posted by By Tony Amokeodo on
FORMER Rivers State Governor, Dr Peter Odili, has dragged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission before the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, asking the court to restrain the anti-graft body from prosecuting him over his tenure between May 29, 1999 and May 29, 2007.
FORMER Rivers State Governor, Dr Peter Odili, has dragged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission before the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, asking the court to restrain the anti-graft body from prosecuting him over his tenure between May 29, 1999 and
The ex-governor had approached the court through an ex-parte application dated September 13 and urged the court to restrain the EFCC and its agents from arresting or prosecuting him, pending the determination of his application.
But Justice Regina Nwodo in her ruling on the application, refused to grant Odiliís prayers.
The judge also ordered the ex-governor to put the EFCC on notice.
The court processes were made available to our correspondent in Lagos on Thursday.
Odili, who also joined the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice as co-respondents to the suit No FHC /PH/CS/1291/2007, claimed that the anti-graft body was planning to prosecute him pursuant to the commissionís alleged investigation of his tenure for eight years.
The plaintiff also wants the court to grant him an order of interlocutory injunction, restraining the EFCC from disseminating, publishing or circulating the report of its investigation of his tenure in Rivers State.
Odiliís ex-parte application was backed with a 13-paragraph affidavit in support and was argued by his lawyer, Mr. Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN).
Delivering her ruling on the application, Justice Nwodo said, "The applicantís counsel is directed to put the respondents on notice.
"The motion on notice should be served on the respondents for accelerated hearing of motion on notice.
"Case is hereby adjourned till September 21, 2007 for the hearing of the motion on notice."
But the ex-governor had appealed to the AGF to use his good offices with a view to preventing the EFCC from arresting him.
Speaking through his lawyer (Adedipe) in a letter dated September 13 and addressed to the AGF, Odili also urged the AGF to ensure that nothing was done to tamper with the status quo on the matter.
The letter reads in part, "As the official leader of the Nigerian Bar, and as a member of the Inner Bar, I share in your widely publicised position that there can be no substitute for the rule of law in our country. It is a very reassuring position.
"As counsel to Dr. Peter Odili, the immediate past Governor of Rivers State, I have had to proceed to the Federal High Court, on his behalf, and apply for a judicial determination of certain questions.
"I had equally applied for an interlocutory injunction for a restraining order that he be not proceeded against either by your office or that of the EFCC.
"The honourable court has fixed the application for the September 21, 2007 for hearing.
"I wish to use this medium to appeal to you, as the Chief Law Officer of the nation, to see to it that nothing is done to tamper with the status quo, at this point.
I respectfully, commend to you, the observation of our Supreme Court in the celebrated case of Governor of Lagos State vs Ojukwu (1986) A.N.L.R. page 233 and 244."