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Judge abruptly adjourns The Cable’s FoI case against Malami

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Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN)

Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court yesterday abruptly adjourned proceedings in the case between Cable Newspaper Journalism Foundation (CNJF) and the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, over his failure to respond to a Freedom of Information (FoI) request on the engagement of lawyers for the recovery of Abacha loot.

The case was filed by Kusamotu & Kusamotu Law Chambers and had suffered a series of adjournments during which the lawyers newly engaged for the recovery have reportedly been paid another $15 million in legal fees, even though the Swiss lawyer, who did the recovery, Mr. Enrico Monfrini, said he had completed the job and had been paid as far back as 2014 and that there was no need to engage any lawyer.

On May 8, counsel to the Cable Foundation, Mr. Ayo Kusamotu, along with Rachael Obong, were in court but there was no legal representation for the AGF. The applicant’s counsel reminded the judge of the order he made on April 21 to deem the respondent’s processes adopted but the judge declined and instead made an order summoning the Solicitor-General of the Federation to appear in court on May 9 (yesterday) to conduct defence on behalf of the AGF.

However, the applicant’s counsel were in court while the AGF was also represented by a counsel but the judge insisted that no counsel other than the Solicitor-General of the Federation in person would handle defence for the respondent.

On being reminded that the AGF was already represented and no law made it mandatory for the solicitor-general to represent the AGF for the matter to be heard, Justice Ekwo refused to entertain the applicant’s counsel and angrily rose without adjourning the matter to any date.


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