Baring a last minute change, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), will today submit a petition to the National Judicial Council (NJC) over an alleged reckless use of judicial powers by Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the the Federal High Court sitting Abuja.
Leadership can also confirm that a similar petition has been submitted to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Adamu Abdu-Kafarari.
The commission is particularly frustrated by what it described as reckless use of judicial powers by Justice Taiwo. EFCC noted that the judge has grantes ex parte orders restraining the commission from performing its statutory functions in the ongoing investigation of Imo state Governor, Rochas Okorocha and the Senate President, Olubukola Saraki.
According to the petition addressed to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, sighted by our Correspondent, the Commission demanded the Chief Judge to reassign cases involving the Saraki and Okorocha pending before Justice Taiwo to another judge.
The petition dated 21st May was personally signed by the Acting Chairman of the Commission, Ibrahim Magu.
EFCC in the petition further alleged that when the Commission was conducting investigation on acts of corruption allegedly perpetrated by some officials of the Ekiti State Government, the Attorney General of the State filed suit no. FHC/AD/CS/32/2OI6 against it and other persons. Justice Taiwo, on the 30th January 2018 in his judgment in the said case granted wholesale all the eight reliefs sought by the Plaintiff in the suit which included perpetual injunctions restraining Ekiti State officials , Ekiti State House of Assembly and banks in which the accounts of the Ekiti State Government were maintained from disclosing or making available to it any document. financial statement or information relating to the public funds and accounts of Ekiti State.
This according to EFCC frustrated its investigation.
Although, the Commission noted that it is not by any means positing that Justice Taiwo should always decide cases in its favour, even when it does not deserve it, it noted that the trend of Justice Taiwo’s judgment shows unbridIed bias against it which has made it difficult for it to believe in his impartiality.
“The Commission therefore, is left with no option than to request Your Lordship to re-assign the above-stated cases and other cases involving it which are pending before His,” EFCC demanded.
Coincidentally, the Counsel who argued the ex-parte applications on behalf of Governor Okorocha leading to the restraining orders against the EFCC, Sunday Onubi, also argued the ex-parte applications for Saraki, and the 2 orders granted by Justice were the similar.
The same set of government agencies and officials were listed as respondents in the two ex parte motions, while Justice Taiwo restrained the Attorney General of the Federation, the Inspector General of Police, the DSS, the EFCC and the ICPC from taking action against the applicants pending determination of the suit before him.
Okorocha’s ex parte motion was granted on 8th May, while Saraki’s motion was grantes on the 14th May.
EFCC is investigating activities of Saraki while he served as the Governor of Kwara State and also as the Senate President.
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