Ex-Governor Chime in court to stop EFCC probe

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Former Governor of Enugu State, Barr Sullivan Chime, on Monday appeared before a Federal High Court through his lawyer over a suit bordering on the probe of his eight-year tenure by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

An Enugu based lawyer, Mr. Ray Nnaji had approached the Federal High Court sitting in Enugu with Suit No FH9/EN/94/WS7/2015, seeking an order compelling the EFCC to probe Chime.

The suit has the EFCC as first respondent, the Code of Conduct Bureau as second respondent and Sullivan Chime as third respondent.
Others are Chime’s sons, Nnamdi and Tochukwu, 4th, 5th respondent, Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, 6th respondent and former Chief of Staff to Chime, Mrs. Ifeoma Nwobdo as 7th respondent.

At the resumed hearing of the suit yesterday, all the respondents approached the court through their counsels declaring their intention to challenge the suit.

While Chime was represented by A. J. Offiah, SAN, his sons Nnamdi and Tochukwu were represented by Anthony Ani, who has already filled a counter affidavit and a notice of preliminary objection.

Former Chief of staff to Chime, Mrs. Ifeoma Nwobodo was represented by Chinyere Ifediorah.

Speaking to journalists after the matter came up for mention, the applicant, Nnaji revealed that Chime’s sons filed a counter affidavit and notice of preliminary objection insisting that he lacked locus standi to maintain the suit.

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He said, “I had applied to EFCC to investigate Chime, his children and associates, who squandered and cannibalized the state resources and properties by the virtue of the act establishing EFCC.

EFCC seems to be dilly-dallying, which prompted me to apply for judicial review, to wit- Order of Mandamus, compelling them to do their public duty and for the ICPC to release to Code of Conduct, forms Chime filled before he became governor in 2007 to enable us determine the extent of cannibalization.

“Also, for the Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Commission to release his official salaries and other packages within eight years. This will also include the release of income and expenditure. This should be released to me through EFCC.”

In the notice of preliminary objection, Chime’s sons are asking the court to discountenance the suit, arguing that Nnaji lacked the locus on the matter.

The matter was adjourned to January 26, 2016 for hearing.

It would be recalled that Nnaji had petitioned EFCC alleging that Chime’s administration allocated plots of land at the Enugu International Conference Centre, ICC, to his associates, altered the 2012 supplementary budget without the approval of the House and conspired with his associates to allocate public land to themselves within Enugu metropolis.

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