By Vivian Okejeme Abuja
Justice Anwuri Chikere of the Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday, ordered that the former governor of Edo state, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) be served with court processes.
The court stressed that the service be done within five days from October 9, 2018 when the order was made.
The court ordered Oshiomole be served with an application, seeking an order of mandamus to compel the EFCC to arrest and commence criminal proceedings against him over alleged financial fraud while he was in office.
The court gave the order, while ruling on the exparte application brought before it by Bishop Osadolor Ochei, who wants Oshiomole prosecuted for alleged diversion of state funds into personal use.
Oshiomole and the EFCC were mentioned as 1st and 2nd respondents respectively in the matter.
The ex-parte with Suit No FHC/ABJ/CS/628/ 2018, and filed by Dr West Idahosa on behalf of the plaintiff, urged the Court to allow the resdpondents file their reply to the allegations made against them by the Applicant in support of the Federal Government’s anti-corruption fight.
Bishop Ochei had on October, 28, 2016 petitioned the EFCC against Oshiomhole, who was governor of Edo state from November 2008 to November 11, 2016.
In the motion, Dr Idahosa, in praying the court to grant the request of his client, referred the court to 86 exhibits filed in support of the application and added that there are documents and electronic pictures of palatial houses of the former governor, whose earnings all his life can not acquire and that, there are evidence on how Oshiomhole allegedly diverted money for Edo state project to personal projects.
In his argument, the counsel said that there are vouchers of exorbitant air fares that the former governor incurred, stressing that the amount of the air fares are enough to buy air carrier for Edo state people.
He, further, submitted that there are receipts of how the ex-governor used huge amount of states’ fund to repair his private vehicles.
He therefore, urged the court to grant the relief of his client, noting that EFCC has arrested and prosecuted lesser crimes and there is no reason why the anti-graft agency should ignore the petition.
Bishop Ochei, in the motion wants the court to declare that the anti-graft agency has the statutory duty to investigate and prosecute the former governor, upon his allegations against him in line with the Act, establishing the commission.
The allegations bothers on the diversion of Edo state fund by the forner governor, now the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to his personal use.
In an affidavit deposed to personally by the applicant, he averred that, in view of the fact that corruption has become a societal ill which has eaten deep into the fabric of the society and there is the need for the EFCC to take complaints against corrupt practices serious.
He said he has severally complained to the EFCC about allegation of corrupt practices against Oshiomhole without eliciting any response or interest by the commission.
According to him, “On May 4, 2012, one Matthew Edaghese sent a petition to the EFCC, complaining that while serving as governor, Oshiomhole built mansions on a huge expanse of land worth more than N10 billion, in excess of the former governor’s legitimate means of income as governor.
”That EFCC did nothing about the petition”, Bishop Ochei stated and added that he had, in 2016 petitioned against Oshiomhole’s corrupt practices without any action by the EFCC.
The matter has been adjourned till 23rd October, 2018.