ABUJA, Nigeria – The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday, restrained the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from prosecuting the former Comptroller-General, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Alhaji Abdullahi Dikko.
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba delivered the judgment on the suit instituted by Dikko.
The judge stated that the non-prosecution agreement entered into between the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, and the plaintiff was binding on EFCC.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the agreement between Dikko and the AGF was based on the return of N1.5 billion proceeds of alleged crimes the ex-NCS boss committed while in office to the coffers of Federal Government.
Justice Dimgba held that by virtue of the provisions of Section 174 of the Constitution, the AGF, being the chief law officer of the federation, was imbued with wide powers and discretion on prosecution matters.
The judge said that the claim by the anti-graft agency that it acted on an anonymous petition to commence its investigations “cannot override the discretionary powers conferred on the Attorney-General of the Federation by virtue of Section 174 of the Constitution.”
Justice Dimgba also noted that since Malami did not oppose the suit, the AGF had subscribed to Dikko’s case.
Reflecting on the conflicting positions of the AGF and the EFCC on the Dikko’s case, the judge admonished government agencies joined as defendants in the suit on the need to speak with one voice.
“There is a need for government to speak with one voice and not in different tunes that appear to be discordant,” he remarked.
NAN reports that while Dikko was the plaintiff, AGF, the Department of State Services (DSS), the EFCC and its chairman were the defendants in the suit