‘It’s in court’ — Atiku asks code of conduct bureau not to entertain Keyamo’s petition
Atiku Abubakar, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party
(PDP), has asked the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to refrain from investigating
him over a petition submitted by Festus Keyamo, spokesperson of the All
Progressives Congress (APC) presidential campaign.
Keyamo had accused Atiku of diverting public funds through
special-purpose vehicles while he was Nigeria’s vice-president.
His allegation was premised on an audio recording released
by Michael Achimugu, Abubakar’s former
Keyamo had given the CCB a 72-hour ultimatum to “arrest,
invite, interrogate and prosecute” Atiku over the alleged offences.
The CCB, in a letter dated March 28, invited Keyamo to the
bureau’s office in Abuja to adopt his petition.
Responding to the petition in a letter dated April 7 and
addressed to the CCB, Atiku through his lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, said the bureau
cannot interfere in the matter because Keyamo has already instituted a case
bordering on the same issue before a federal high court in Abuja.
“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,” Abubakar’s letter reads.
“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.
“It is highly inappropriate for a party to a suit to take
any extra-judicial steps or to embark on any course of action that is either
tantamount to or calculated to undermine the authority and integrity of the
court, which is dominus litis over the proceedings.
“Such behaviour is as condemnable as it is unacceptable. It
is strongly frowned upon by courts of law, as it has the potential of
overreaching the court, the other party (our client) and foisting on the court,
a fait accompli.
“To that extent, the
supreme court has severally deprecated and condemned such actions in no certain
“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 good self.”
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