Ibori Loot: Absence Of Delta Attorney General Stall Proceedings
By Ignatius Ushie
The suit before the Federal High Court sitting in Warri, against the Federal and Delta State governments over the returned £4.2million allege loot by former Delta State governor, James Ibori was yesterday stalled by the failure of the court’s bailiff to deliver hearing notice to the office of the Delta State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, who is the second respondent on the matter.
The court had fixed 7th December, 2021 (yesterday) for full hearing on the matter brought before it by the Ijaw Progressive Union of Aborigines but could not proceed as the second respondent was not represented in court.
The bailiff has cited distance and logistics as being responsible for his failure to deliver the hearing notice to the second respondent as directed by the honourable court.
Ajourning the matter to the 25th of April, 2022, the presiding Judge, Justice Okon Abang held that the bailiff in this instance was the agent of the plentiff, directing that a fresh hearing notice be served the second respondent.
Lead counsel of the plaintiff, Ekide Ehigheluwa had pleaded the court to grant the shortest adjournment on the matter. However, Justice Abang maintained that the court was not to be held responsible for the failure of the bailiff since the bailiff was an agent of the plaintiff.
Responding to the ruling, the lead counsel of the plaintiff, Ekide Ehigheluwa said, “well, we came prepared to proceed with our case but as you can see we could not because the hearing notice was not served the second respondent.
“Although we pleaded for the shortest possible adjournment but the court in its wisdom adjourned hearing to 25th April, 2022 and we have no option but to abide by the court’s decision.”
Recalled that the Ijaw Progressive Union of Aborigines has dragged the Federal and Delta State Governments to court on the returned Ibori £4.2 million loot to the country by the British government.
The group has approached the court to demand among others, the release of the funds to the government of Delta State and the utilisation of same to execute projects in the oil bearing communities of the state.
Joined in the suit, number FHC/WR/05/85/2021 are the Anttorney General/Minister of Justice of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (first respondent), the Attorney General/Commissioner of Justice, Delta State (second respondent) and the Accountant General of the Federation (third respondent).