A former Minister of Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, says he will appeal the yesterday’s ruling of a Federal High Court in Abuja which awarded N10m fine against him for filing a ‘frivolous suit’ against Atiku Abubakar, Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential candidate in the Feb. 25 election.
A statement by John Ainetor, Assistant Head of Festus Keyamo Chambers, Abuja Office, partly read: “Our client respectfully disagrees with the reasons for the said decision because the law-enforcement agencies did not indicate their willingness to commence investigations, even if they were given more time. We want to establish a legal principle that the society cannot wait as infinitum for law-enforcement agencies to do their statutory duties.”
Justice James Omotosho had awarded N5m fine each in favour of Abubakar and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, making N10m against Keyamo.
Justice Omotosho, who described the suit as “frivolous, vexatious and abuse of court processes,” directed that the fine be paid “at 10% per annum until the cost is finally liquidated.”
The order followed an oral application by counsel for Atiku, Benson Igbanoi, and that of the ICPC, Oluwakemi Odogun, asking for cost after the matter was dismissed.
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Keyamo had sought an order compelling the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), ICPC and the Code of Conduct Bureau to probe and prosecute Abubakar.
Keyamo based his action on the ground of claims by one of Abubakar’s aides, Michael Achimugu, that between 1999 and 2007 when he was vice president, he (Achimugu) conspired with ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo to rip off the country using what he termed “Special Purpose Vehicles.”
Your law degree is useless, Atiku’s aide mocks Keyamo
Commenting on yesterday’s judgement, the Special Assistant on Public Communication to Atiku Abubakar, Phrank Shaibu advised Keyamo to throw his law certificate into the dustbin following the defeat he suffered at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
He said the latest judgment was a reflection of Keyamo’s incompetence as a lawyer.
Shaibu said the judgment was clear evidence that the former minister was only playing cheap politics.
He wrote, “Keyamo’s incompetence has been confirmed by Justice Omotosho. One wonders how he was elevated to the rank of senior advocate. Despite several clarifications that the allegations levelled against Atiku were trumped up, Keyamo refused to listen to reason.
“Rather than act like a refined lawyer as expected of a senior advocate, he decided to act like a political jobber. Now, he has been disgraced before the entire world. This was a man who served under the legendary, Chief Gani Fwehinmi? What a shame!”