A Federal High Court in Lagos presided over by Justice Mojisola Olatoregun on Monday dismissed a fundamental right enforcement suit instituted against Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, by former President Goodluck Jonathan’s cousin, Azibola Robert.
Justice Olatoregun, in her judgement declared that the suit instituted by Azibola was abuse of court process as the applicant had instituted other multiple suits in other courts in addition to the steps taken so far by the EFCC in accordance with the appropriate laws.
Azibola joined the Attorney General of the Federation and the Federal Republic of Nigeria as respondents.
In an affidavit sworn to by a lecturer of Niger Delta State University, Bayelsa State, Dr Faith Robert, it was averred that Azibola, who hailed from Bayelsa State, is a cousin of and close confidant to the immediate past president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and that this was the singular reason for his current travails in the hands of respondents who wanted him to implicate the said former President at all cost.
Robert said due to his vast experience, sometimes in 2012, he was contacted by late General Patrick Azazi to temporarily curb the problems of petroleum, pipeline vandalization and oil bunkering, saying that, in September 2014, the sum of 40 million US Dollars was paid into the account of Oneplus Holdings Nigeria limited for the assignment with agreement that he would be paid 10% of the said sum.
However, he said there was change of government in May 2015, and that surprisingly, a committee set up to review some projects of last administration instructed his company to refund the $40 million immediately, thereafter he was detained through a warrant for remand obtained at a magistrate court for alleged financial misappropriation on a purely civil transaction.
He urged the court to declare that the acts of the respondents in obtaining remand orders against him for the purpose of keeping him in their custody was flagrant violation of his fundamental right as guaranteed by the Nigerian constitution.
He sought an order of the court restraining the respondents from further violating his rights through unlawful arrest and detention.
However, in a counter affidavit sworn to by a counsel of the EFCC, Idris Mohammed, he averred that sometimes in November, 2015, the EFCC received an intelligent report against Robert, his company and Stella Robert, His Director of Finance and Account, Dakuru Atukpa and others on suspicious contract awarded by the former National Security Adviser to the President, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (retired) from the committee set up to Audit the procurement of defence equipment by the armed forces from 2007 to date, and that the committee discovered that between 2012 and March 2015, the National Security Adviser, Dasuki awarded fictitious contract to several companies to the tune of N2,219,188,609.50, $1,671742,613.58 and E9,905,477.00.
Colonel Dasuki also directed Central Bank of Nigeria to frivolously transfer the sum of N650 million to Tunji Adeniyi & co meant for purchasing a property at Plot 2245 Maitama Cadastral to the applicant and 40 million US Dollars to Oneplus holdings limited meant for the Supply of Tactical Equipment to special forces. The money was transferred without the award of any contract.
Muhammed alleged that Azibola received the sum of $40 million and diverted same to his own personal use and to the use of others and that he swapped deals with the above sum with several companies through the aid of his wife Stella Robert and his account officer one Mr Amobi Agum.
Mohammed averred further that in an effort to conceal and obscure proceed of these transaction, Oneplus Holdings Nigeria limited through its Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Azibola Robert and the Director of Finance and account Stella Robert ordered the transfer of the sum of $1,500,000 to Reya Telecommunications limited that subsequently in a personal transaction transferred the sum of $1,400,000 Dollars to NETSPACE Telecommunications.
He said documents recovered during search in Oneplus Holdings Nigeria limited on 24 March, 2016 indicated that the duo of Stella Robert and one Dike Ndubusi received in cash between 17th of October, 2014 and 27th January, 2015 the total sum of $7,556,000 which was converted to N1,344,208,000 for their personal use, the above transaction were carried out in 31 transactions.