Monday, April 18, 2016 7:21 am
National Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP’s), Prof. Wale Oladipo has appealed to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) to be allowed to refund the N75 million he received from ex-National Security Adviser (NSA) Mohammed Sambo Dasuki.
Oladipo’s request is contained in a letter to the Vice President in which he sought to be excluded from prosecution.
Prominent Nigerians, including Raymond Dokpesi and ex-Director of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Aminu Baba-Kusa, were charged to court for allegedly diverting billions of naira belonging to the Federal Government under the guise of fighting Boko Haram.
The existence of the letter by Oladipo was confirmed in the suit he filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja, through his lawyer Babs Akinwumi.
Oladipo also seeks to restrain the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), the inspector general of Police (IGP) and the Department of State Services (DSS) from holding him.
The PDP national secretary, in a supporting affidavit, said he wrote the Vice President on his intention to refund the money he received from the Office of the NSA, without knowledge that it was proceed of unlawful dealings, with the understanding that he would be shielded from prosecution.
Oladipo, who claimed to have received an anonymous message on his telephone, inviting him for interrogation, urged the court to, among others, restrain the respondents from moving against him.
He alleged that the respondents were being used by agents of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to harass, intimidate and persecute him, being a key opposition figure.
But the respondents faulted Oladipo’s letter, arguing that his letter could not shield him from investigation and prosecution.
“Assuming without conceding that Exhibit 1 (the letter) exists, it is our further contention that the exhibit cannot come to the aid of the applicant because a letter written to the Vice President to return N75 million cannot act as shield from investigation and possible prosecution, rather it is suggestive of corruption, requiring investigation,” ICPC said in its objection to the suit.
Other respondents faulted the suit and urged the court to dismiss it on the grounds that Oladipo was merely seeking to hide under a spurious text message, whose source he failed to establish, to prevent statutory established bodies from performing their responsibilities.
“It is clear that the applicant has failed to discharge his duty of establishing nexus between the 3rd respondent and the so called witch-hunt of APC against him.
“The applicant, in anticipation of possible invitation by the 3rd respondent (ICPC) to answer questions with respect to the N75 million, which, he said, he received from officials of the PDP, has come to this court to twist the arms of the law and challenged the statutory powers of the 3rd respondent in carrying out its constitutional duties and ultimately escape from criminal invitation.
“It is submitted that the applicant’s suit is incompetent, misleading, lacking in merit and should be dismissed. We urge the court to so hold and strike out or dismiss this suit,” ICPC said.
In his response to the suit, the AGF, Abubakar Malami (SAN), argued that Oladipo only raised unsubstantiated allegation of persecution and harassment against the respondents “on account of funds he received from his party members and is thus seeking to restrain the respondents from performing their constitutional duties”.
He denied taking any steps against Oladipo “in respect of money received by the applicant either from party members or other sources”.
“Even the alleged invitation by the 2nd respondent (EFCC) did not state that the applicant was invited because of funds, which he received.
“The applicant, on his free volition and admission, wrote to the Vice President wherein he offered to return to the Federal Government funds which he received.
“Rather than comply with the invitation, if indeed it exists, to clear his name, the applicant, via the instant suit, resorted to engage the instrumentality of the law to stop or frustrate his investigation and possible prosecution,” the AGF said.
The judge adjourned hearing to May 19 to enable ICPC file its responses.