Former Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Festus Keyamo, has decided to go on appeal over his suit seeking the arrest and prosecution former president Vice president, Atiku Abubakar
Yesterday, the Federal High Court in Abuja had dismissed the suit which Mr Keyamo, then a spokesperson for the Presidential Campaign Council of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), filed in January against Atiku
The judge, James Omotosho, dismissed the suit with an award of N10 million fine against Keyamo,
describing the suit as frivolous and vexatious.
The judge ordered him to pay N5 million to each of Atiku and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC).
Keyamo while reacting to the Judgement in statement signed by the assistant head of the law firm, John Ainetor, said the former Minister disagreed with the judge’s reasoning that the law enforcement agencies he asked the court to compel to investigate Atiku were not given enough time.
“We are immediately filing an appeal against the said decision to the Court of Appeal as the struggle on this issue continues,” Mr Keyamo said in a statement released on his behalf by his law firm on Monday.
“Earlier today (Monday), a Federal High Court in Abuja dismissed the case filed by Festus Keyamo, SAN, CON, against the candidate of the PDP in the last Presidential Election, Alhaji ATIKU Abubakar over the SPV saga principally because the court was of the opinion that the law-enforcement agencies were not given enough time to commence investigations before the suit was filed, amongst other sundry reasons.
“Our client respectfully disagrees with the reasons for the said decision because the law-enforcement agencies did not indicate their willingness to commence investigations, even if they were given more time. We want to establish a legal principle that the society cannot wait as infinitum for law-enforcement agencies to do their statutory duties. The suit was designed to prompt the agencies to show their READINESS to investigate,” the statement which Mr Keyamo tweeted via his verified Twitter handle read in part.
Keyamo had in the suit through his counsel, Festus Ukpe, sought an order of the court to compel the Code Of Conduct Bureau (CCB), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and ICPC to invite or arrest Atiku, Nigeria’s former vice president.
He asked the court to order the agencies to investigate and prosecute Atiku based on the claims contained in an affidavit deposed to by one Michael Achimugu, alleging that Atiku used a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to corruptly enrich himself while he was Vice President of Nigeria.
In response to the suit, Atiku, through his counsel Mr Ozekhome, raised a preliminary objection to the suit, contending that Mr Keyamo lacked the basis to institute the said suit, having failed to disclose what he suffered over and beyond other members of the public.
Mr Ozekhome further contended in his written brief that Mr Keyamo did not disclose any wrong done to him by Atiku or what damage he had suffered. He described the former minister as a busybody and meddlesome interloper, as the entire suit disclosed no reasonable cause of action whatsoever.
Arguing the matter before the judge, Benson Igbanoi, a lawyer from Mr Ozekhome’s law firm, also argued that the suit constituted a gross abuse of office, the plaintiff being a public officer occupying a public office and using public funds to file and prosecute same.