Alleged asset declaration violation: Court strikes out suit seeking Peter Obi’s investigation, prosecution

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Abuja: A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday, struck out a suit praying the court to compel the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to investigate and prosecute Mr Peter Obi over allegations bordering on asset declaration breach.
Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a short ruling, threw out the suit for lack of diligent prosecution.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mr Olukoya Ogungbeje, who claimed to be a human rights activist and a lawyer, had, in a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/44/23, sued CCB as sole respondent.

In the motion on notice dated July 3 but filed on Nov. 6 by the applicant himself, he sought an order of mandamus compelling the CCB to, forthwith, exercise its constitutional and statutory duty, function and obligation to invite, investigate complaints; refer and prosecute Mr Obi before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on the allegations and complaints of breaches of the constitutional provisions on assets declaration.

Ogungbeje alleged that Obi, the Labour Party (LP)’s presidential candidate in the Feb. 25 presidential election, failed to declare his offshore holdings and their associated assets.
Besides, he alleged that the LP candidate operated foreign account while being a public officer and continuation on being a director of Next International (UK) Limited for 14 months after becoming the governor of Anambra.

He said this was contrary to provisions of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

He also sought a declaration that the failure and or refusal of CCB to act based on his application dated March 23 amounted to “crass dereliction of public duty, gross abdication of statutory responsibility and brazen infraction of constitutional obligations and functions imposed on the respondent by law.”

NAN reports that Justice Ekwo had, on Nov 1, granted Ogungbeje’s motion ex-parte moved by Odafe Ojisua, for leave to apply for an order of mandamus compelling the CCB to invite, investigate and prosecute Obi before the CCT.

The judge, who directed Ogungbeje to file his application withi 7 days, ordered him to serve CCB at least 14 days before the next adjourned date.

But when the matter was called on Tuesday, neither the applicant nor his lawyer was in court, and Justice Ekwo consequently struck out the suit.(NAN)(www / Flowerbudnews

Biola Lawal

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