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ATIKU: Ozekhome Slams Keyamo, Cautions CCB Against Investigating Case Before Federal High Court

Recall that Keyamo had on April 21, 2023 urged the CCB and other anti-graft agencies to adopt his petition requesting the Bureau to “arrest, invite, interrogate and prosecute” for alleged diversion of public funds through “special purpose vehicles” while he was vice-president between 1999 and 2007.

The CCB had in response to his petition, asked him to come along with one of Atiku’s former aides who made the allegation against his principal prior to the 2023 presidential election.

Apart from the petition, Keyamo also approached the Federal High Court Abuja on the matter.

But in his letter to the CCB made available , Ozekhome told the Bureau that matters have been joined at the FHC and it was inappropriate and “condemnable” for Keyamo to ask the CCB to investigate Atiku when his case is pending at the court.

Ozekhome urged the CCB to avoid looking into Keyamo’s petition or face legal action before relevant judicial authorities.

The letter reads,

“Dear sir,


“We are Counsel to the 1st Defendant, Alh. Atiku Abubakar (“our client”), in the above referenced suit presently pending at the Federal High Court, Abuja, at the instance of Mr Festus Keyamo, SAN, who, incidentally is a serving Minister of State in the present Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari – as well as being a spokesman of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the President-elect.Upon being served with the originating process in the said suit, our client – through us – promptly responded by filing a Statement of Defence as well as a Preliminary Objection thereto.

“Copies of both processes are herewith attached for your perusal and guidance; In other words, issues have been duly joined in the matter between the Plaintiff and our client.

“Accordingly, the matter is now sub judice.

“You will therefore appreciate our surprise to read in the media that Mr. Keyamo has reportedly responded to the invitation of your esteemed Bureau purportedly to shed more light on his complaints to the Bureau, which far preceded and formed the very basis of his pending suit, as aforesaid.

“Such behavior is as condemnable as it is unacceptable.

“It is strongly frowned upon, by courts of law, as it has the potential of over-reaching the court, the other party (our client) and foisting or the court, a fait accompli.

“In fact, it smacks of contempt of court, albeit ex facie curiae.

“To that extent, the Supreme Court has severally deprecated and condemned such actions in no certain terms.

“A few of such instances will suffice.

“In OJUKWU v. MILITARY GOVERNOR OF LAGOS STATE (1986) NGSC 8, the Apex Court held as follows:“Once a dispute has arisen between a person and the government or authority and the dispute has been brought before the court, thereby invoking the judicial powers of the State, it is the duty of the government to allow the law to take its course or allow the legal and judicial process run its full course . . . The courts expect the utmost respect of the law from the government itself which rules by the law . . . In the area where the rule of the law operates, the rule of self-help by force is abandoned.”

“See also REGISTERED TRUSTEES APOSTOLIC CHURCH V. OLOWOLENI (1990) 4 NWLR Pt. 158 Pg. 514 at 537, where the Supreme Court, per Nnaemeka-Agu, JSC, held thus: “Once parties have turned their dispute over to the courts for determination, the right to resort to self-help ends. So it is not permissible for one of the parties to take any step during the pendency of the suit which may have the effect of fostering upon a Court a situation of complete helplessness or which may give the impression that the Court is being used as a mere subterfuge to tie the hands of one party while the party helps himself extra judicially. Both parties are to await the result of the litigation and the appropriate order of the court before acting further.”

“Again, in OYEGBEMI & ANOR v. AROMIRE & ORS (2012) LPELR-7942 (CA), the Court of Appeal, per Helen Moronkeji Ogunwumiju, JCA (as she then was) held thus: “Parties cannot present the court with a fait accompli to overreach the other party. The principle is settled that the court cannot be hamstrung by a party who changes the status quo during litigation”.

“For the foregoing reasons, we urge the Bureau to refrain from interfering in the subject matter of Mr. Keyamo’s petition since he has himself voluntarily submitted it to a competent court of law for adjudication.

“Accordingly, kindly advise and direct him to pursue his pending litigation against our client to its logical conclusion. We assure you we are eagerly waiting for him there.

“Where however you persist in your enterprise of investigating this subjudice matter currently pending before a court of competent jurisdiction, we shall be left with no alternative than to activate the judicial process against your goodself.

“Please, accept the assurances of our professional esteem and regards.Yours faithfully.”

First Bank

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