Justice James Omotosho of the Federal High Court, Abuja on Monday, dismissed a suit filed by a former Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate in the February 25 election, Atiku Abubakar.
Keyamo, who served as the spokesman of the dissolved All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) had a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/84/2023 filed on January 20 sought an order compelling the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other anti-graft agencies to investigate the former Vice President for alleged corruption.
The ex-minister’s action followed claims by one of Atiku’s aides, Michael Achimugu that the PDP candidate conspired with ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo to rip off the country through “Special Purpose Vehicles” between 1999 and 2007.
He filed the suit after the expiration of the 72-hour ultimatum given to the anti-graft agencies to investigate the allegations.
Atiku, according to Keyamo, violated Section 18(2) of the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022, and Section 96(1) of the Penal Code with his actions and therefore unqualified to take part in the election.
At Monday’s proceeding, the judge also fined the APC chieftain N10 million for filing a frivolous suit against the former Vice President.
A breakdown of the fine revealed that N5 million would go to Atiku and the remaining N5 million to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
Justice Omotosho, who described the suit as “frivolous, vexatious and abuse of court processes,” directed that the fine should be paid “at 10 percent per annum until the cost is finally liquidated.”
The order followed an oral application by counsel for Atiku, Benson Igbanoi, and that of the ICPC, Oluwakemi Odogun, asking for cost after the matter was dismissed.
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