The Federal High Court, Abuja presided over by the Honourable Justice Quadri has adjourned the matter seeking to remove Ibrahim Mustapha Magu as the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to June 29, 2017.
At the resumed hearing of the Originating Summons, the Plaintiff, Barrister Johnmary Chukwukasi Jideobi, who represented himself, informed the Court that Magu and the EFCC (the 3rd and 4th Defendants) just served him their Counter affidavit and written addresses in the Court room despite filing the said processes since the 3rd of April, 2017. The Plaintiff invited the Court to take note of the unhealthy conduct of Magu and EFCC by deliberately refusing to serve him much earlier despite the fact that he had been calling them and demanding the processes. He submitted that the conduct of the 3rd and 4th Defendants constituted an unhealthy drag on speedy administration of justice.
As a result, the Plaintiff sought a short adjournment to enable him file a further affidavit and do a composite reply to the Defendants’ processes. The Defendants did not oppose the application for adjournment. The Senate was not represented despite being served with a hearing notice on Friday, 26th May, 2017.
Before the Court adjourned the matter, a mild drama played out when the Plaintiff sought the leave of the Court to make a very “salient observation”. The Plaintiff alleged that since the last four or five days he has been receiving threatening calls from masked numbers warning him to withdraw the matter or he would not be alive to hear the Court’s judgment on the matter. In his words: “My Lord, since the last four or five days, I have been receiving calls from unknown numbers demanding that I withdraw the present suit. I do not know who they are, who sent them or who they are working for. But their messages have always been one and the same which is that if I do not withdraw the present suit, I will not be alive to hear the judgment of the Court in the matter. I perfectly appreciate the weight of this concern which I have decided to share in the open Court. Being a Lawyer, I appreciate the weight of my complaint and I make this complaint with a very sense of responsibility since it borders on threat to my own life. I do not belong to any other institution. This is where I belong and this institution should protect me.” After noting his concern, the presiding Judge, Hon. Justice Quadri encouraged him to petition the relevant security agencies who could use advanced technology like the GPS to unmask and track the phone numbers. The Plaintiff replied that he had instructed his lawyers to address his petition to the Inspector-General of Police and the State Security Service [DSS].
It would be recalled that the Plaintiff had approached the Federal High Court seeking, among others:
A SOLEMN DECLARATION OF THIS HONOURABLE COURT, that under and by virtue of section 2 (3) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Establishment Act 2004, the 4th Defendant, Ibrahim Magu, cannot continue to function in office as Acting Chairman of the 3rd Defendant, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, after the decision of the 1st Defendant, The Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which rejected the nomination of the 4th Defendant as Chairman of the 3rd Defendant.
A SOLEMN DECLARATION OF THIS HONOURABLE COURT, that the 2nd Defendant, the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation, and through him the Federal Government of Nigeria, are bound by the decision of the 1st Defendant, the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, rejecting the 4th Defendant, Ibrahim Magu, as Chairman of the 3rd Defendant, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and cannot continue to treat, recognize, deal with or deploy the 4th Defendant as Acting Chairman of the 3rd Defendant.
AN INJUNCTION restraining the 4th Defendant, Ibrahim Magu, whether by himself, his servants, agents or privies, or in any manner whatsoever from functioning in office as or from performing or continuing to perform the duties of or from holding himself out or parading himself as the Acting Chairman of the 3rd Defendant, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
AN ORDER, forthwith directing the 4th Defendant, Ibrahim Magu, to vacate, relinquish and surrender his office as Acting Chairman of the 3rd Defendant, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.