ASSET DECLARATION: Court Strikes out Ekweremadu’s Case

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Ekweremadu, Asset declaration, case struck out

The Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday struck out charges of non-declaration of assets instituted against a former deputy senate president, Ike Ekweremadu, by the scrapped Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property.

Justice Binta Nyako struck out the case against Ekweremadu after the prosecuting counsel from the AGF office, Mr Pius Akutah, said the former lawyer handling the case for the panel had disappeared with the case file.

Akutah pleaded with the judge to order the former counsel to release the file to the AGF office but the request was declined by the judge.

But Ekweremadu’s lawyer, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), urged the judge to strike out the case.

Responding, Justice Nyako dismissed the prosecution’s request.

She said, “You are attorney general (referring to the lawyer as representing the AGF), you should know what to do.

“You should not be waiting for me to make an order against an individual.”

Justice Nyako added, “So, as it is today, you don’t know the case against the defendant since you don’t have the file. I am going to strike out the case, when you are ready you can come back.

“The case is hereby struck out for want of diligent prosecution. The prosecution is allowed to come back whenever they are ready to proceed with the case.”

The panel then had instituted the case in 2018 alleging that, “without reasonable excuse”, the serving senator refused and neglected to declare his assets upon being served the panel’s “notice to declare”.

When the panel was dissolved by a presidential directive in 2019, the office of the AGF took over the case and other suits being handled by the SPIP.

 

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