By Wilson Adekumola
Former Vice President and Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has warned the chairman of the Code of Conduct Bureau against meddling in the pending corruption case at the Federal High Court in Abuja filed by the minister of state for Labour, Festus Keyamo against him.
The former vice president expressed worries in a letter to the chairman, Code of Conduct Bureau, through his lawyer, Prof. Mike A. A. Ozekhome, stating his disappointment to read in the media that Keyamo reportedly responded to the Bureau’s invitation to expatiate on his complaints.
Atiku condemmed the actions noting that it is improper for anyone to take any extra-judicial steps, or to embark on any course of action that is calculated to undermine the authority and integrity of the court, which is dominus litis over the proceedings.
“Such behavior is as condemnable as it is unacceptable,” he said.
The spokesperson of the All Progressives Congress presidential campaign council, Keyamo, in January sued Atiku over a new corruption allegation against him.
Keyamo had on 16 January issued a 72-hour ultimatum to the Conduct of Conduct Bureau, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to arrest the opposition leader.
The APC spokesman had in the petition dated January 16, asked the anti-graft agencies to arrest Atiku on offences of money laundering, breach of the code of conduct for public officers, conspiracy, and criminal breach of trust and misappropriation.
He based both his petition and suit on the allegations made by Michael Achimugu, who claimed to be a former aide to the PDP candidate.
However, in the letter, Atiku said, “For the foregoing reasons, we urge the Bureau to refrain from interfering in the subject matter of Mr. Keyamo’s petition since he has himself voluntarily submitted it to a competent court of law for adjudication. Accordingly, kindly advise and direct him to pursue his pending litigation against our client to its logical conclusion.
“We assure you we are eagerly waiting for him there. Where however you persist in your enterprise of investigating this subjudice matter currently pending before a court of competent jurisdiction, we shall be left with no alternative than to activate the judicial process against your goodself.”
He maintained further that the action of the Bureau is “strongly frowned upon, by courts of law, as it has the potential of over-reaching the court, the other party (our client) and foisting or the court, a fait accompli. In fact, it smacks of contempt of court, albeit ex facie curiae.
“To that extent, the Supreme Court has severally deprecated and condemned such actions in no certain terms. A few of such instances will suffice,” he added.