The federal government has asked the Abuja Federal High Court, not to hear Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, regarding an ex parte motion it filed. The government is seeking an order for the interim forfeiture of 22 properties said to be owned by Ekeweremadu.
Okoi Obono-Obla, an aide to the president on prosecution, filed the case on behalf of the government. The panel accused the deputy senate president of not declaring the properties in his code of conduct bureau (CCB) forms.
Responding, Ekweremadu said Innocent Umezulike, a former chief judge in Enugu state, with the help of Obono-Obla doctored his will to include the said properties.
He said thereafter, the president’s aide began carrying out a smear campaign against him.
Adegboyega Awomolo, counsel to Ekweremadu, then filed a motion challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the government’s motion.
The deputy senate president through his lawyer asked the court for leave to be allowed to air his objection to the motion.
But when the case was mentioned at the court on Tuesday, Bala Dakum objected to Ekweremadu’s plea to be heard.
He alleged that the application of Ekweremadu was a delay tactic to frustrate the suit adding that there were reports that he was already selling off the assets.
According to him, without an order attaching/forfeiting the said properties, the likelihood of the frustration of investigations as well as the dissipation of the said properties was very high.
He further told the court that the matter was of utmost public interest and concern, and that an order of court would enable the government to carry out a thorough investigation into the matter.
On his part, the lawmaker’s counsel prayed the court to hear their motion challenging the court’s jurisdiction.
He said the motion should be heard and determined ahead of other pending applications.
Binta Nyako, the presiding judge, adjourned the matter till April 26.