EFCC Prosecution: Former Minister Challenges Jurisdiction, Court Adjourns Ruling

A Federal Capital Territory High Court in Apo has adjourned until May 15 to rule on the preliminary objection raised by former Minister of Power and Steel, Dr. Olu Agunloye, in response to a seven-count charge brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Agunloye’s counsel, Adeola Adedipe (SAN), argued that the EFCC lacked the authority to prosecute his client, contending that the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) did not provide the necessary fiat for the investigation and proceedings against Agunloye. Adedipe asserted that the charges against his client did not constitute financial crimes within the EFCC’s purview.

Responding, the prosecuting counsel, Abba Mohammed, countered that the power of the AGF under Section 174 of the constitution is not exclusive, citing precedents where other authorities initiated criminal proceedings. Mohammed argued that the EFCC had the jurisdiction to prosecute Agunloye under the ICPC Act.

The trial judge, Justice Jude Onwuegbuzie, adjourned ruling on the preliminary objection to May 15 after hearing arguments from both parties.

Agunloye is facing allegations related to the awarding of a contract for the Mambilla Hydroelectric Power Station without budgetary provision, approval, and cash backing. The prosecution also claimed to have traced suspicious payments made to Agunloye’s accounts.


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