The embattled National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Adams Oshiomole, has urged the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to strike out a corruption petition against him.
The APC Chairman is appealing to the court to strike out the suit seeking an order compelling the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate corruption petitions and allegations against him.
Bishop Osadolor Ochei, had written a petition to the EFCC asking it to investigate several allegations of corruption against Oshiomole while he was governor of Edo State.
Osadolor had gone ahead to file a suit with the Federal High court to issue an order compelling the EFCC to investigate the former governor after he failed to get a response from the commission.
Osadolor Ochei filed the suit marked, FHC/ABJ/CS/628/2018 before the Federal High Court in Abuja, seeking an order of mandamus to compel the EFCC to arrest and commence criminal proceedings against Oshiomole over alleged financial fraud while he was governor of Edo State.
The plaintiff had attached 86 Exhibits to his suit to back up his claims against the APC chairman.
Osadolor through his lawyer West Idahosa, further told the court that he had documents and electronic pictures of palatial houses said to be owned by Oshiomole in his possession.
The lawyer for the plaintiff said further that Oshiomole’s earnings for a life time even as governor cannot afford the properties said to be in his possession.
Idahosa added, among other allegations, that there was evidence of diversion of Edo State funds by Oshiomole during his 8 year stint as governor.
He further alleged that he had in his possession vouchers of exorbitant air fares that the former governor allegedly incurred.
Oshiomole however filed a notice of preliminary objection filed before the court through his lawyer, Damien Dodo (SAN), on the grounds that the plaintiff lacked the locus standi to institute the legal action.
He went ahead to ask the court to strike out the first request of the plaintiff on the grounds that it was premature and incompetent.
The preliminary objection bordered on 10 grounds which Oshiomole’s counsel argued that the applicant, having failed to file the suit for judicial review within three months of occurrence of the subject of the suit, the suit had become academic.
He added further that the action or inaction of the EFCC being subjected to review by the proceedings occurred on December 13, 2016, with the plaintiff only instituting the suit for judicial review on June 13, 2018; 18 months after the occurrence of the failure to prosecute being complained about.
While in contention that the plaintiff’s right of action could not be enforced, counsel to the former governor said the plaintiff had not disclosed that he had legal right to file and maintain the action for judicial review, “having not shown how the actions of the second respondent/applicant affected him over and above other residents and indigenes of Edo State.”
He submitted that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the suit because the plaintiff did not commence action within the time provided by extant rules of the court and for failure to disclose locus standi to file the action.