CCT to rule in Kano State anti-corruption boss’ motion against CCB Friday


The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) sitting in Abuja, on Wednesday, fixed Jan. 12 for ruling on a motion filed by Muhuyi Magaji, Chairman, Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission (PCACC).

The motion challenged the competence of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to prosecute him in the charge marked: CCT/KN/01/2023.

The three-member panel, headed by Justice Danladi Umar, adjourned the matter after Magaji’s counsel, Adeola Adedipe, SAN, and lawyer to the CCB, Musa Usman, presented their arguments and adopted their applications.

In the motion on notice, Adedipe sought an order prohibiting the complainant from prosecuting the instant charge or any other charge against the defendant, whether by way of arraignment or seeking any form of indulgence before the tribunal or any other court in Nigeria.

The lawyer argued that except and unless there was compliance with the orders made by Justice Farouk Lawan Adamu of the High Court of Kano State on Aug. 28, 2023, in suit marked: K/M1128/2023, between Attorney-General (A-G) Kano State and two others vs. Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and two others.

According to him, the said orders remain extant and valid for all intents and purposes, having not been set aside by any court.

He also sought an order setting aside the leave granted to prefer the charge; and discharging Magaji of all offences contained therein.

He said the charge, having been unlawfully preferred by the complainant in disregard of the orders made by Justice Adamu.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the CCB had, on Nov. 16, 2023, arraigned Magaji on a 10-count charge bordering on alleged conflict of interest, false declaration of assets, among others.

He, however, pleaded not guilty to all the counts and was admitted to bail in the sum of N5 million with two sureties who must be residing within the jurisdiction of the tribunal and must deposed to affidavit of means, verified by the chief registrar of the court.

The tribunal adjourned until today (Jan. 10) to hear Magaji’s motion.
Upon resumed hearing on Wednesday, Adedipe informed the panel of his motion on notice dated Nov. 14, 2023 and filed Nov. 16, 2023 against the charge number: CCT/KN/01/2023.

He said the process was served on the prosecution the same date it was filed and the the complainant filed a counter affidavit on Dec 28, 2023.

The senior lawyer said a better and further affidavit was filed yesterday in response to the counter affidavit.

While moving the motion, Adeola called the attention of the tribunal to the two prayers, which were predicated on six grounds.

He said in the Kano matter, CCB was the 2nd defendant and a party, directed parties to maintain status.

He said in further giving life to their prayers, the court granted an interim injunction, “restraining the defendants from interfering in the affairs or taking any step related to or in connection with the functions, duties and affairs of the defendant, who in that case, was the 3rd plaintiff in Exhibit B.”

Adedipe said the prosecution undermined the order.

According to him, the complainant made effort to harass the defendant (Magaji), kept inviting him, interrupting in his affairs until they charged him to court.

“That means status quo antebellum was not complied with and the matter is still in court.

“We want the court to know that we are not in a lawless society and the court is the last hope of the common man,” he said.

He stressed that they had been able to establish that CCB was in violation of the court order which had not been set aside.

He also argued that preferring the charge against Magaji in the face of Exhibit B presented before the tribunal was a recourse to self help.

The lawyer prayed the panel to strike out all the processes filed by the CCB today, including the oral submission, for non-compliance with the mandatory provision of Paragraph 13(2) of the CCT Practice Direction 2017 which gave three days for a party to respond to any process served on them.

Adedipe stated that the prosecution was served with their motion for more than 30 days before they responded.

“They were served since Nov. 16, 2023, and filed Dec 28, 2023 more than 30 days without the leave of court and leave of my lord.

“They did not obey an order and they are not obeying the rules of the court. Which order will they obey? They are above everybody,” he said.

He urged the tribunal to grant their prayers.

Usman disagreed with Adedipe, saying a counter affidavit had been filed

The prosecution lawyer said that their counter affidavit was “filed on Dec. 28, 2023 in opposition to the motion on notice seeking this honourable tribunal to prohibit the complainant from proceeding with this charge.”

He urged the tribunal to discountenance the defence argument.

He said the order of Kano State relied on by the defendant did not mention the word “prosecution,” hence, it did not stop the complainant from instituting the instant case.

He said the order was clearly preventing the CCB from meddling into the affairs of the defendant, and not on investigation matter.

“The Kano State High Court was aware of the decision of Court of Appeal in a case of Ewuno Bassey Vs EFCC and others where the court states that it is no longer in doubt that agencies given powers to investigate cannot be prevented or arms twisted from performing their duties,” he said.

Usman said on this basis, the submission and the application of the defendant lacked merit and must be treated as such.

Justice Umar, who adjourned the matter until Jan. 12 for ruling, said the decision would determine whether the trial would proceed or not.(NAN)


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