Oshiomhole queries competence of suit seeking his probe for graft

ALL Progressives Congress (APC’s)  National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole has queried the competence of a suit seeking his probe by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for corruption related conduct.

Oshiomhole, who also questioned the plaintiff’s right under the law, to seek to compel the EFCC to probe his tenure as Edo State Governor, urged the court to dismiss the suit for being incompetent.

The plaintiff, Bishop Osadolor Ochei, said he, on October 28, 2016, petitioned the EFCC, demanding that Oshiomhole be  investigated on some allegations he (Ochei) has made against the ex-Governor.

The said his suit, filed before the Federal High Court, Abuja was as a result of the EFCC’s alleged failure to act on his petition.

The plaintiff’s  lawyer West Idahosa said there were documents and electronic pictures of palatial houses credited to the former governor, whose earnings throughout his lifetime, according to the plaintiff, could not have been able to afford.

Idahosa said, among other allegations, there was evidence that the ex-governor allegedly diverted Edo State’s funds. He claimed that there were also vouchers of exorbitant air fares that the former governor allegedly incurred.

Oshiomhole, in a notice of preliminary objection filed by his lawyer, Damien Dodo (SAN), argued that the plaintiff lacked the locus standi to bring the suit.

In the objection, supported by 10 grounds, Oshiomhole argued that the suit has become a mere academic exercise since the plaintiff failed to file the suit for judicial review within three months of the occurrence of the subject of the case.

He argued that the action or inaction of the EFCC being subjected to review by the proceedings occurred on December 13, 2016, while the plaintiff only institute the action for judicial review on June 13, 2018.

The APC National Chairman noted that this came about 18 months after the occurrence of the alleged failure being complained about.

He argued that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the suit for failure of the plaintiff to begin the action within the time provided by extant rules of the court and for failure to disclose locus standi to file the action.

The judge, Justice Anwuli Chikere, had on October 8, 2018, granted leave to the plaintiff to begin the suit for “judicial review”.

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