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Govt urges judge to dismiss Tompolo’s fresh suit, cites abuse of court process




The Federal Government of Nigeria has asked the Federal High Court, Lagos, to dismiss the fresh case filed by Chief Government Ekpemupolo popularly known as Tompolo for being an abuse of court process and an attempt to shield Tompolo from trial.

Tompolo had on April 8, 2016, filed a fresh action before the Federal High Court in Lagos, asking for an interpretation and nullification of certain sections of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, which he argued affected his constitutional rights.

However, the Federal Government in a counter-affidavit, dated April 29, 2016 and sworn to by Miss Felicia Des-Bordes, a litigation clerk in the Federal Ministry of Justice, Marina, Lagos, stated that the warrant of arrest was issued against Tompolo upon his failure to appear in court after he had been duly notified of the criminal charge pending against him.

She averred that the case filed by Tompolo constitutes an abuse of the process of the court and should therefore, be dismissed.

According to Des-Bordes, Sections 221 and 306 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 were designed to ensure speedy and effective determination of cases, in furtherance of the fundamental rights of citizens, as granted by the Constitution and that since Tompolo always has a right of appeal, refusal or denial of his application for a stay of proceedings pending appeal, cannot be a denial of his constitutional right.

In an accompanying written address signed by Mrs. A.C. Akwiwu, a counsel in the chambers of the Attorney General of the Federation, the government submitted that the court should not allow itself to be used by Tompolo to hinder or frustrate his criminal trial.

Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court had on January 14, 2016, issued a warrant for the arrest of Tompolo. On January 27, 2016, Tompolo filed an application before the court to set aside the said warrant of arrest.

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