The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has asked Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court to strike out a fundamental rights suit brought by former boss of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Andrew Yakubu, against the Commission.
It could be recalled that Andrew Yakubu has asked the Federal High Court, Abuja to award N1 billion in his favour against the EFCC, as damages and compensation for violation of his right.
However, in his preliminary objection, counsel to EFCC, Johnson A Ojogbane, told the court that it lacked jurisdiction to hear the suit.
He argued that “all the facts relevant to the Applicant/Respondent’s application took place in Kano State which is outside the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court Abuja”.
“It is not in doubt that, the acts leading to this action filed by the Applicant/Respondent all occurred in Kano. He was never invited to the Commission’s Head Office in Abuja and never came to Abuja in respect of the instant case. In view of this, the Federal High Court lacks territorial jurisdiction to hear and determine the matter as the court must have both subject matter and territorial jurisdiction to entertain a case”, Ojogbane argued.
On the Applicant’s prayer for human rights enforcement, Ojogbane argued that “the application is incompetent, incurably defective and therefore robs this honourable court of the jurisdiction to determine the suit”.
He went on to add that the detention warrant that authorised the detention of the Applicant/Respondent was obtained in Kano State as the EFCC was investigating the allegations leveled against the former NNPC boss.
On the other hand, the AGF, represented by T. A. Gazali brought an application asking the court for more time to regularize its processes that was filed out of time.
Justice Mohammed has adjourned to March 14, 2017 for further hearing.