- A former governor of Enugu state is challenging the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, Lagos, to try him
- Chimaroke Nnamani asked the court to decline jurisdiction on a N5.3 billion suit against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission
- Nnamani also prayed for a court order staying his arraignment in the charge
A former governor of Enugu state, Chimaroke Nnamani, has challenged the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, Lagos, on a case filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Guardian reports that Nnamani asked the court to decline jurisdiction in the alleged N5.3 billion suit against him.
At the resumed hearing on Thursday, December 14, Abubakar Samsudeen, a counsel to the former governor, informed the court of his client's decision to challenge its jurisdiction on the matter.
Samsudeen said the application before the court was brought pursuant to sections 6(6) and 36 of the 1999 Constitution.
In his prayer, Nnamani sought a declaration of the court that it lacks the jurisdictional competence to try him and/or determine the offences contained in charge
In his argument, Nnamani said, this would be in respect of the charge that a plea bargain agreement was reached between the parties in the charge with no. FHC/L/90c/07, between FRN vs Chimaroke Nnamani and eight others.
He also asked the court to make an order setting aside the charges against and determine whether on original or amended form as well as an order of perpetual injunction restraining the Federal Republic of Nigeria, its agents, privies or any other persons deriving power from the Federal Government of Nigeria from inviting, instituting, maintaining or otherwise prosecuting them in respect of charge.
He also prayed for an order staying his arraignment in the charge.
Samusudeen also urged the court to withdraw the bench warrant issued against him and the second defendant in the charge, Sunday Anyaogu, who had appeared voluntarily before the court.
He said the second defendant was not aware that the matter will come up at the last adjournment date, and that when he informed him, he made himself available before the court.
In his response, counsel to the EFCC, K. C. Uzozie, informed the court that he was just being served with the application.
He prayed the court for a short adjournment to enable the EFCC respond to Nnamani’s application.
Having heard the pleas, Justice Chuka Obiozor who had issued a bench warrant against the former governor and Anyaogu for their failure to appear before the court adjourned the matter to Friday, January 19, 2018 for hearing and determination of Nnamani’s application.
The judge also ruled that the court would take the plea of the accused persons on the alleged fraud on the set date.
Justice Obiozor said the bench warrant on Nnamani subsists and withdrew that of the second defendant.
NAIJ.com earlier reported that the court ordered the arrest of the former governor for his failure to appear before it.
The court said the former governor's counsel failed to provide any reasonable evidence for his client's absence.
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The court's order followed a claim by Samasudeen that Nnamani had undergone a heart surgery in the United States of America.
Although Samsudeen presented the court with some pictures, the EFCC's lawyer argued that the photographs were taken in 2014.
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