Ex-Minister Agunloye’s ₦1 billion suit against EFCC adjourned to June 24

Agunloye’s lawyer sought an adjournment to enable parties in the suit to regularise their processes.

A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Thursday, adjourned a ₦1 billion suit filed by Dr Olu Agunloye, former Minister of Power and Steel against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) until June 24 for hearing.

Justice Emeka Nwite fixed the date after Agunloye’s lawyer, Jedidiah Akpata, sought an adjournment to enable parties in the suit to regularise their processes. Akpata, who held the brief of Adeola Adedipe, SAN, informed the court shortly after the matter was called that, they were yet to respond to counter affidavits of the defendants.

The lawyer equally said that the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), who is the 2nd defendant, served on them a motion to regularise their processes. The AGF’s lawyer, Mercy Akeredolu, hinged the delay in filing their application on the death of the lawyer, who was briefed to represent the office in the case.

M.K. Hussein, who appeared for EFCC, did not oppose the application for adjournment and the matter was consequently adjourned until June 24 for hearing.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Justice Nwite had, on April 18, adjourned the case until today (May 9) after the anti-graft lawyer, Abba Mohammed, sought an adjournment to enable him to regularise his processes before the court.

Although the AGF was not represented in court on the last adjourned date, the judge ordered that a hearing notice be served on the office (AGF). NAN had, on March 1, reported that the ex-minister had filed the suit against EFCC over allegations that the commission published his name on its website’s wanted list.

Agunloye, in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/167/2024 and filed by his team of lawyers led by Adedipe, also joined the AGF as 2nd defendant.

In the originating summons, dated and filed February 8, the ex-minister sought six reliefs, including a declaration that the EFCC cannot lawfully exercise its discretion, powers and or functions under Sections 1(2(c, 6, 7, 13 of the EFCC Act, 2004, ditto Section 4 of the Police Act 2020, by declaring him wanted on its official website or any other related platform.

Agunloye said this was without recourse to any safeguard in Sections 34({1)(a), 35, 37, 39, 41 and 42 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), including a judicial intervention, order or leave of court under Sections 1(1), 8(1) & 42(2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015.

He, therefore, sought an order for the EFCC, its agents, privies, representatives and other related affiliates to forthwith remove his picture, name, references, details and or particulars from the wanted list published on its official website or any other related platform.

He also sought a perpetual injunction restraining the EFCC and the AGF, “Both jointly or severally, whether by themselves or their staff, from further declaring the plaintiff wanted.

“General damages of one billion naira (₦1, 000, 000, 000 00) against the defendants, especially the 1st defendant, “Cost of this action.”

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