THE NEWSGHOST, NIGERIA –
Nigeria’s recent loss of corruption cases instituted before several federal courts in the country has raised much concern in the Presidency and among other Nigerians.
According to report, at least three judges delivered rulings against the Nigerian government on corruption cases prosecuted in the court by the government.
At the Federal High Court, Lagos, Justice Abdulazeez Anka vacated a freeze order on the account of Mike Ozekhome, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, after initially ordering a temporary forfeiture of ₦75 million found in his Guaranty Trust Bank account. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) originally called for a freeze order on the account alleging that it held money considered as proceeds of crime.
Two days later, at a Federal High Court in Abuja, a judge of the same court was discharged of all 18-count charges of fraud brought against him, his wife and a senior lawyer. The prosecuted judge Adeniyi Ademola and his wife Olabowale, along with a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Joe Ago, were accused of fraudulent diversion of huge sums of local and foreign currencies, possesion of firearms and involvement in illegal collection of gratification.
On Thursday of the same week, a Federal High Court in Lagos issued an order unfreezing the Skye Bank account of former First Lady, Patience Jonathan. Earlier in November, EFCC had filed an application before the court calling for an order freezing the account. EFCC contends that the account holding $5.8 million holds money that were reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime.
As if these were not enough, a federal court discharged and acquitted former Niger Delta minister, Godsday Orubebe, of all corruption allegations.
Former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo blames the loss of the cases on lack of ‘proper investigation’ and ‘commitment to fighting corruption’.
Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Itse Sagay, also expressed worries over the losses.