The Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday stopped the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from prosecuting a former Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC), Abdullahi Inde Dikko, for alleged corruption.
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba upheld Dikko’s argument that he could not be prosecuted due to an agreement between him and the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF).
He said the Department of State Services (DSS) Director-General witnessed the agreement.
He said he was required to refund $8million or its naira equivalent at an exchange rate of N197 to a dollar, which Customs under him allegedly did not remit to the government.
Justice Dimgba held that the agreement exists and Dikko kept his side of the bargain by paying N1,576,000,000 and more to the Federal Government.
He said the money was paid through the EFCC’s funds recovery account with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Therefore, it is wrong for the EFCC or any other agency to prosecute Dikko on the same alleged offence, the judge ruled.
The judge noted that the first and second defendants in the suit filed last year – the AGF and DSS Director-General – did not oppose the suit, implying that they agreed with Dikko’s claim.
Justice Dimgba held that a petition by a faceless author “cannot override the discretionary powers conferred on the Attorney-General of the Federation under section 174 of the Constitution.”
He added: “The third and fourth defendants cannot hide under an anonymous petition to challenge the agreement entered into on behalf of the Federal Government by the Chief Law Officer of the Federation.
“I do not, therefore, think it is right for the third and fourth defendants to continue to act on the premise of an anonymous petition, even when they were present at a meeting with the plaintiff as if the agreement reached with the AGF was meaningless or non-existence.”