Yesterday, a Federal Capital Territory High Court postponed a hearing on a complaint filed for alleged misconduct against the former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN.
The case was put on hold while Judge Oluyemisi Adelaja ordered that the ex-AGF, Malami, SAN, be served with all essential court documents so that he could submit his defence in the matter.
He also instructed the court to have a copy of the proof of service of the lawsuit and hearing notice on Malami.
The lawsuit seeks a court judgement compelling the former AGF to pay Mr Cecil Osakwe, a global businessman and property developer, N1 billion in damages.
The plaintiff claimed in a lawsuit he filed through Mr Victor Giwa’s legal team that the former AGF used his position to coerce him into renting two units of three-bedroom flats at one of his properties in Maitama, Abuja, to a civil servant named Mrs Asabe Waziri.
Osakwe claimed that Malami had forced him to violate an active order of a court with appropriate authority by giving Mrs Waziri the property, which was worth roughly N130 million.
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The plaintiff testified before the court that Malami, SAN while serving as the AGF, intervened in a legal case involving Mrs Waziri that his company was involved in and utilised his position to oversee his ongoing harassment by security personnel.
Malami, SAN, was not present in court or represented by a lawyer when the case’s hearings were restarted on Monday.
Concerned by the development, the plaintiff’s attorney, Mr Giwa, argued that the former AGF should appear in court and insisted that he was not permitted to exploit the position, which he held for approximately eight years, to further his interests.
Insisting that he was aware that the case was scheduled for a hearing, he informed the court that the bailiff had been fully mobilised to serve the proceedings on Malami, SAN.
Giwa said: “My Lord, the claimant is prepared to submit his case and the second Respondent, Malami, is not represented in court.
.“We mobilized the bailiff to serve all the Respondents in this matter. This case is very important to the claimant. With this case, we need to send a message to public officers that they cannot use their office to pursue a personal interest.”
In his answer, Mr C.J. Abengowe, counsel for Mrs Waziri, who was listed as the first respondent in the lawsuit, observed that although the case was scheduled for hearing, he contended that it could not be heard because Malami was not present in court.
Judge Adelaja declared that he was prepared to give the ex-AGF another chance to answer the lawsuit after hearing from the two parties. As a result, the court gave its approval to another delay of the case.