An Abuja-based legal practitioner, Mr Victor Opatola has sued the Federal Government and National Assembly over alleged illegal appointment of Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), Mr Ola Olukoyede.
Also joined in the suit, are the Attorney-General of the Federation and Olukoyede, as 3rd and 4th defendants.
When the matter was called on Tuesday before Justice Obiora Egwutu at the Federal High Court, Abuja, Opatola, who represented himself, told the court that he had an ex-parte application for substituted service on the defendant.
“My lord, it is an ex-parte motion, praying the court for an order, to serve the processes on the 4th defendant, through substituted means.
“I also have an alternative prayer for an order, granting leave to the plaintiff, to serve the originating motion and other processes on the EFCC, by pasting same on their office.”
Justice Egwuatu, however, said since there was no record that the bailiff of the court had attempted service and failed, the plaintiff should engage the services of the bailiff.
The judge said it was only after the bailiff had attempted to serve the processes on the defendant unsuccessfully, that he would be minded to entertain an ex-parte application for substituted service.
He later adjourned the matter until Nov. 22.
The News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN) reports that the lawyer in the suit, was challenging the validity of the appointment of the EFCC chairman.
He was asking the court to determine, whether by the true construction and interpretation of Section 2 (1) (a) of the EFCC Act 2004, Olukoyede, who had not fulfilled the conditions of the Act, can be validly appointed as EFCC chairman.
He also asked the court to determine whether by the true construction and interpretation of Section 2(1)(a) of the EFCC Act 2004, the person appointed to the office of the chairman of the EFCC can be said to be above the rank of Assistant Commissioner of police, or its equivalent.
“Whether by the true construction and interpretation of Section 2(1)(a) (iii) of the EFCC Act 2004, the interpretation of subsection (iii), should be read disjunctively of subsection (ii) of the act, in a manner that Olukoyede, who was appointed to the office of the chairman of EFCC, can be said to have 15 Years of cognate experience in any field outside the government security or law enforcement agency.
“Whether by the true construction and interpretation of Section 2(1)(a) (ii)(iii) of the EFCC Act 2004, the national assembly can validly confirm the appointment of Olukoyede, who has not fulfilled the provisions of the law.”
Opatola also prayed the court to make further declarations upon the determination of the above questions.
“A declaration that, pursuant to Section 2(1)(a) (ii)(iii) of the EFCC Act, the appointment of Olukoyede to the office of the EFCC chairman is illegal and void.
“A declaration that pursuant to Section 2(1)(a) (ii)(iii) of the EFCC Act, any confirmation of the 4th defendant’s appointment, made by the national assembly is void and of no legal consequence.”
The counsel also asked the court for an order of perpetual injunction, restraining the national assembly from confirming the appointment of the 4th respondent.
He further prayed the court for an order of perpetual injunction, restraining the 4th defendant from holding office as chairman of EFCC.