By Ise-Oluwa Ige
ABUJAâ€”There was a mild drama yesterday in Abuja Federal high court following an un-procedural move by the Attorney-General of the Federation, Chief Michael Kaase Aondoakaa, SAN, to stop Lagos lawyer, Mr Festus Keyamo, from further prosecuting the Chairman of Police Equipment Fund, PEF, Chief Kenny Martins for fraud.
Martins is standing trial before the court on a four-count charge of breaching a loan agreement it entered into with an American company, Cavalry Security Group, LLC, totaling $97,500,000 million.
The Attorney-General of the Federation, Chief Mike Aondoakaa had issued fiat to Keyamo to prosecute Chief Martins over the charge.
But without withdrawing the fiat or informing him that he would invoke his powers under section 174 of the 1999 constitution to take over the prosecution from Keyamo, the Attorney-General of the Federation yesterday sent a lawyer from his chambers, one Mr Emmanuel Akissa to debrief the Lagos lawyer.
Keyamo had protested openly in court the manner with which the chief law officer of the Federation went about it, saying it was embarrassing.
He explained to the court yesterday that he was never informed that he should hands off the case file.
Judge blasts AGF
The protest by Keyamo over the embarrassment suffered by the style of the Attorney-General to kick him out of the case made the trial judge, Justice Adamu Bello, yesterday to lash out at the chief law officer of the Federation.
The judge told the Attorney-General yesterday that though under the law, he had the unquestionable powers to prosecute anybody who is suspected to have committed any crime, he however, said having earlier issued fiat to Keyamo to prosecute Martins, he said he could not come to court to take over the prosecution without first conferring with him (Keyamo).
He said doing that was capable of bringing the legal profession into disrepute.
Although Aondoakaa was not personally present in court yesterday, the lawyer he sent, Mr Emmanuel Akissa, to violently take over the case from Keyamo received the heat yesterday.
But Akissa specifically told the court yesterday when the heat was getting much on him that his brief was to take over the case and not to confer with Keyamo.
He said it was not his business whether or not Keyamo was issued fiat by the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation but to carry out Aondoakaaâ€™s instruction to the letter.
Efforts by Keyamo to call Akissa to order fell on deaf ears until another senior lawyer in court who claimed that he was 22 years at the bar joined Keyamo to urge the court to deprecate the conduct of the lawyer in the chambers of Aondoakaa.