The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has approached the Federal High Court, Lagos for an order disqualifying Justice M. N. Yunusa from handling its six cases before his court. It demanded that the six case files be returned to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, for reassignment.
The cases include those of the $2m cash seized at the Lagos airport and the one involving a former Minister of Aviation, Sen. Stella Oduah.
The EFCC is protesting against Justice Yinusa’s order restraining the commission from arresting the former minister. The EFCC made the plea in an “Affidavit of Urgency” filed on Tuesday before the court by one of its lawyers.
The anti-graft agency is praying for an order disqualifying Justice Yunusa from further hearing of the cases.
It said: “The cases include: Mr Jyde Adelakun and Touch of Flame Energy Company Limited vs. Chairman, EFCC and Ibelema Bristol in suit number: FHC/ L/ CS/ 1285/2015; Federal Republic of Nigeria vs. Michael Adenuga in Suit Number: FHC/L/CS/ 487/ 2014 ; Honourable Shamsudeen Abogu vs. EFCC and Others in suit number: FHC/L/ CS/ 1269/2015; Dele Martins vs. EFCC and Others in suit number: FHC//L/CS/1623/2015 and Chike Obiakor vs. EFCC and Others in suit number: FHC/ L/ CS/2011/2014.
The Commission hinged its request on the grounds of “bias and denial of fair hearing” by Justice Yunusa.
“In one of the cases, particularly the matter between Jyde Adelakun and Touch of Flame Energy Company Limited vs. Chairman, EFCC and Ibelema Bristol, the EFCC sought a consolidation of the suit number FHC/L/CS/1285/2015 and suit number FHC/L/CS/1165/2015 but the application was ignored.
“Besides, a pending Court Order freezing the bank accounts of Adelakun and Touch of Flame Energy Company Limited (who are being investigated in a case of money laundering involving over $2,000,000.00 was communicated to Justice Yunusa, with an application for a short adjournment to enable the EFCC file an affidavit to exhibit the Order.
“Justice Yunusa reportedly turned down the application and even refused an oral application to this effect, but went ahead to fix September 23rd, 2015 for judgment.”
The EFCC believes that “having regard to the events that took place before the court during the proceedings on 21st September, it will not get justice except the case is re-assigned to another judge”. The anti-graft agency asked for the return of the case files to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court for reassignment.
- THE NATION