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Malami to defend suspended NPA boss in court as counsel resigns

By Adaku Onyenucheya
03 November 2021   |   4:01 am
The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has opted to defend the suspended Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala-Usman, at the Federal High Court, Ikoyi...

Hadiza Bala Usman

The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has opted to defend the suspended Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala-Usman, at the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, on November 3, 2021 in a suit filed against her and others.

The suit, which challenged her re-appointment and alleged corruption, has Elder Asu Beks, Mr. Tompra Abarowei and Mr. Miebi Senhe as the plaintiffs, while President Muhammadu Buhari, Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi; Bala-Usman and Chairman of the Board of NPA, Emmanuel Adesoye, are the defendants.

The development is coming on the heels of the withdrawal of Emmanuel Ogboji, the counsel handling the case for Bala-Usman and the NPA board Chairman, based on a purported directive by the AGF and Minister of Justice.

Ogboji explained that the NPA, which secured his legal services, asked him to resign from the case, following the intervention of the attorney-general to take over Bala-Usman’s defence and that of the board despite her official suspension from office over allegations of corruption.

Ogboji, in the motion on notice dated August 13, 2021, said that he had to withdraw from the case considering the status of Malami as the chief law officer of the federation.

The motion was served on Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), representing Asu Beks and two other plaintiffs in the matter.