May 2, 2023

Malami faces N1bn lawsuit over alleged abuse of office

Missing crude oil

By Ikechukwu Nnochiri, ABUJA

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has okayed the hearing of a suit that is accusing the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, of abusing his office.

The suit is equally seeking an order to compel the AGF to pay N1 billion as damages to an international businessman and property developer, Mr Cecil Osakwe.

The plaintiff, in the legal action he instituted through his team of lawyers led by Mr Victor Giwa, told the court that the AGF, using his office, arm-twisted him to give out two units of three-bedroom flats in one of his properties situated in Mekong Close, Maitama, Abuja to a civil servant, Mrs Asabe Waziri.

Osakwe alleged that Malami forced him to hand the property worth about N130 million to Mrs. Waziri, against a subsisting order of a court of competent jurisdiction.

The plaintiff told the court that the AGF waded into a civil dispute his firm had with Mrs Waziri and used his position to supervise his continuous harassment by security operatives.

Alleging that his fundamental rights were grossly violated, the plaintiff, said he sued Malami both in his official and personal capacity.

He maintained that the AGF acted with malice and abused his office by raising the charge of “collecting money under false pretence’’ against him with a view to ensuring that the property was fully handed over to Mrs Waziri who was also cited as a defendant in the suit.

According to the plaintiff, Malami took the action, even though he was aware that the 2nd defendant had initially moved into the said property and stayed for over eight months before she was vacated from it by a lawful court order that terminated the sales transaction between both parties.

Consequently, aside from praying the court to declare that the AGF engaged in abuse of public office, the plaintiff, urged the court to order him to pay N1bn as damages.