Thursday, March 6, 2008

Odili Secures ‘Perpetual Injunction’ Against EFCCFrom Ahamefula Ogbu in Port Harcourt,

Is only in Nigeria a thief will dictate to the judiciary. He can only run but can't hide. I am happy for the examples set so far, so Odili come what may will pay one day for his sins.
Eight years after Port Harcourt remains the most insecure, the most dirty, the state with the worst of roads, health care is zero etc. God is not asleep and he will pay even to the third generation of his family.

Odili Secures ‘Perpetual Injunction’ Against EFCCFrom Ahamefula Ogbu in Port Harcourt, 03.06.2008

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Former Rivers State governor, Dr. Peter Odili, has secured a perpetual injunction restraining the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from arresting, detaining or prosecuting him.The injunction was granted by a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.The court presided over by Justice Ibrahim Buba also restrained EFCC jointly and severally from publishing or disseminating its investigation report on the alleged looting of Rivers State by Odili.The order is akin to bringing back the immunity from criminal prosecution which the former governor enjoyed in office from 1999 to 2007.Counsel to Odili, Chief Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), commended the judgment, saying that it was well researched and in line with the principles of rule of law. But EFCC lawyer, Mr. James Binang, described it as the “Quarter final of the match” hinting that he was heading to appeal the judgment.The judgment was sequel to an application filed by Odili seeking orders to the effect that he should not be arrested, detained or prosecuted by the Commission, based on an investigation of his eight-year tenure. EFCC had alleged that Odili looted the state treasury. Following the application, EFCC had filed a preliminary objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court to oust the powers of the commission to try or press charges against any person discovered to have committed criminal offences or abused their offices.The commission also claimed it had concluded investigations on Odili and found him culpable but was on the verge of deciding what to do with him when he ran to the court to stop his arrest and detention.EFCC had demanded N1 billion as claims and insisted that Odili, having not been a party in the case, which was filed by the state House of Assembly, he could not benefit from the orders of the court which the commission said was already a subject of appeal.However, counsel to Odili, had urged the court to hold that the earlier judgment of the court, which restrained EFCC from investigating the accounts of the state, was a judgment in rem, meaning a subsisting order affecting not only the stated parties in the case.He had also urged the court to dismiss the argument of EFCC that Odili was not a party in the case and therefore could not benefit from the orders therein made.Reviewing the submission, Justice Buba agreed with Adedipe and dismissed the objection of the EFCC moved by its counsel.He held that the EFCC counsel did not mean business in the N1 billion counter claim as he did not pursue it in his written submission.Justice Buba noted that the time of impunity by law enforcement agencies were gone and that since the decision of the court in suit number FHC/PH/CS/78/2007 where the same reliefs sought before him were granted are still subsisted, it would stand until it is vacated by a superior court.He likened the prayers of EFCC to being asked to sit on appeal over its own judgment since he was the judge that handled the other matter where a similar relief barring EFCC from investigating the account of the state was granted.He discountenanced the submission of EFCC. Justice Buba said his position should not be misconstrued as shielding someone from criminal prosecution when there is a case against the person.He pointed out that all he wanted was for due process and rule of law to be followed as it was at the time of the request to stop EFCC from arresting Odili that the commission went to file an appeal on their earlier order and case.“In the final analysis, the case of the plaintiff has merit and it succeeds and I grant the reliefs sought,” he said.

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