A Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered that court papers be served on the information minister, Lai Mohammed, over a list of alleged looters he released.
DAILY NIGERIAN reports that a Rivers High Court in Port Harcourt had on Wednesday, April 28, restrained the minister from mentioning Uche Secondus, the National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the looters’ list.
The Chief Judge of Rivers, Justice Adama Iyayi-Lamikanra, who gave the order said listing him as a looter who collected N200 million on February 19, 2015 from the Office of the National Security Adviser was libellous.
On Monday, Ferdinand Orbih, counsel to ex-minister Nenadi Usman, informed the court that he had an exparte application which he would wish to move subject to the court’s convenience.
The court obliged him to move the application.
Mr Orbih told the court that his application was brought in pursuant to the provisions of the Sheriffs and Civil Processes Act as well as the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules.
He said his application was seeking leave of the court, to serve a motion on notice, on Mr Mohammed, over alleged acts of contempt.
He told the court that the minister had published a list of looters some weeks back, and had named the first accused (Ms Usman) as number 19 on that list.
According to Mr Orbih, the defence views such act very seriously, as it is an attempt to interfere with the proceedings before the court, and portray the first accused as already guilty of the charges preferred.
He, therefore, urged the court to grant the exparte application enabling the defence to serve the said motion on notice on the minister in Abuja, by substituted means, as personal service may not be feasible.
He argued that the court possessed powers to order that the motion be served on any responsible senior official of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, and therefore, urged the court to grant his application.
In a short ruling, Justice Mohammed Aikawa held: “I have perused the application including the supporting affidavits and I am satisfied that the application ought to be granted.
“The application is granted save that it should be served on his confidential Secretary in Abuja,” he said.