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Ignore Keyamo’s Petition, Atiku Tells CCB, Says Matter Subjudice



By Eric Elezuo

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 presidential election and former Vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has written to the Code of Conduct Bureau, admonishing the body to ignore a petition filed before it by a spokesperson of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council, Mr Festus Keyamo, who is also the Minister of State for Labour and Productivity.

Atiku’s stand is contained in a letter addressed to the chairman of the CCB, dated April 7, 2023, and signed by his lead counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome, maintaining that the matter is subjudice, as it is already before a Federal High Court, and therefore, cannot be attended to by the Bureau.

Atiku reasoned that “it is highly inappropriate for a party to a suit to take any extra-judicial steps, or to embark on any course of action that is either tantamount to, or calculated to undermine the authority and integrity of the court, which is dominus litis over the proceedings”, noting that such behaviour is condemnable, unacceptable and strongly frowned out.

Citing precedence to buttress his point including Ojukwu VS military governor of Lagos State and others, Atiku said any attempt to consider the petition by the CCB will be viewed as contempt, reminding the Bureau that the Supreme Court “has severally deprecated and condemned such actions in no certain terms.”

The letter in full:



We are Counsel to the 1st Defendant, Alh. Atiku Abubakar (“our client”), in the above referenced suit presently pending at the Federal High Court, Abuja, at the instance of Mr Festus Keyamo, SAN, who, incidentally is a serving Minister of State in the present Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari – as well as being a spokesman of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the President-elect.

Upon being served with the originating process in the said suit, our client – through us – promptly responded by filing a Statement of Defence as well as a Preliminary Objection thereto. Copies of both processes are herewith attached for your perusal and guidance; In other words, issues have been duly joined in the matter between the Plaintiff and our client. Accordingly, the matter is now sub judice.

You will therefore appreciate our surprise to read in the media that Mr. Keyamo has reportedly responded to the invitation of your esteemed Bureau purportedly to shed more light on his complaints to the Bureau, which far preceded and formed the very basis of his pending suit, as aforesaid.

Our reasons are obvious: it is highly inappropriate for a party to a suit to take any extra-judicial steps, or to embark on any course of action that is either tantamount to, or calculated to undermine the authority and integrity of the court, which is dominus litis over the proceedings. Such behavior is as condemnable as it is unacceptable. It is strongly frowned upon, by courts of law, as it has the potential of over-reaching the court, the other party (our client) and foisting or the court, a fait accompli. In fact, it smacks of contempt of court, albeit ex facie curiae.
To that extent, the Supreme Court has severally deprecated and condemned such actions in no certain terms. A few of such instances will suffice.

In OJUKWU v. MILITARY GOVERNOR OF LAGOS STATE (1986) NGSC 8, the Apex Court held as follows:

“Once a dispute has arisen between a person and the government or authority and the dispute has been brought before the court, thereby invoking the judicial powers of the State, it is the duty of the government to allow the law to take its course or allow the legal and judicial process run its full course . . . The courts expect the utmost respect of the law from the government itself which rules by the law . . . In the area where the rule of the law operates, the rule of self-help by force is abandoned.”

See also REGISTERED TRUSTEES APOSTOLIC CHURCH V. OLOWOLENI (1990) 4 NWLR Pt. 158 Pg. 514 at 537, where the Supreme Court, per Nnaemeka-Agu, JSC, held thus:

“Once parties have turned their dispute over to the courts for determination, the right to resort to self-help ends. So it is not permissible for one of the parties to take any step during the pendency of the suit which may have the effect of fostering upon a Court a situation of complete helplessness or which may give the impression that the Court is being used as a mere subterfuge to tie the hands of one party while the party helps himself extra judicially. Both parties are to await the result of the litigation and the appropriate order of the court before acting further.”

Again, in OYEGBEMI & ANOR v. AROMIRE & ORS (2012) LPELR-7942 (CA), the Court of Appeal, per Helen Moronkeji Ogunwumiju, JCA (as she then was) held thus:

“Parties cannot present the court with a fait accompli to overreach the other party. The principle is settled that the court cannot be hamstrung by a party who changes the status quo during litigation”.

For the foregoing reasons, we urge the Bureau to refrain from interfering in the subject matter of Mr. Keyamo’s petition since he has himself voluntarily submitted it to a competent court of law for adjudication. Accordingly, kindly advise and direct him to pursue his pending litigation against our client to its logical conclusion. We assure you we are eagerly waiting for him there. Where however you persist in your enterprise of investigating this subjudice matter currently pending before a court of competent jurisdiction, we shall be left with no alternative than to activate the judicial process against your goodself.

Please, accept the assurances of our professional esteem and regards.

Yours faithfully,

Prof. Mike A. A. Ozekhome, SAN, CON, OFR, FCIArb, LL.M, Ph.D, LL.D.
Chief Counsel/Head of Chambers

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Identity Saga: Tinubu Pleads with Court to Release Only His Certificate, Not Academic Details




President Bola Tinubu has reluctantly allowed a federal judge in the United States to give his university certificate to his political opponent Atiku Abubakar.

But the Nigerian leader pleaded with Judge Nancy Maldonado to block all other details, especially the gender, and admission records, among others, of the person who owns the certificate from being disclosed.

Mr Tinubu’s prayers on Monday morning came as part of the ongoing legal battle unfolding at the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago.

The case was brought by Mr Abubakar, who has been on a judicial quest to establish that Mr Tinubu was not eligible to be Nigerian president despite his election in February 2023.

He won the election by 36 per cent of the vote after Mr Abubakar and Peter Obi, who was his running mate in the 2019 election, fell out, subsequently dividing their potential votes into at least two parts, paving the way for Mr Tinubu’s victory with the slimmest margin in Nigerian presidential election history.

Mr Tinubu’s acceptance that his certificate could be released came after he narrowly escaped full disclosure on September 21 by pleading severe harm to his life in order to obtain a stay of a magistrate judge’s order on September 19.

“There is harm in allowing discovery on issues and documents outside the diploma,” Mr Tinubu’s lawyers said in their full briefing to the court seeking a review of Judge Jeffrey Gilbert’s order by Ms Maldonado, a district judge.

The identity of who was admitted into Chicago State University in the 1970s has been a hot issue after college transcripts emerged that indicated the school admitted a female Bola Tinubu from Southwest College Chicago in 1977.

Source: People’s Gazette

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Sanwo-Olu Floors Jandor, Rhodes-Vivour As Court Dismisses Petitioners’ Application




The Lagos Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, on Monday, dismissed the petitions brought by Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour and the Labour Party, and Olajide Adediran, also known as Jandor of the Peoples Democratic Party, challenging the victory of Babajide Sanwo-Olu in the March 18 governorship election.

The tribunal therefore, affirms the election of Sanwo-Olu as the winner of the March 18 Lagos State governorship poll.

Jandor and Rhodes-Vivour had contested the results, challenging the victory of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Dr. Obafemi Hamzat.

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Supreme Court Building Catches Fire




A portion of the Supreme Court is on fire.

The fire, according to source, engulfed a side of the judges’ chamber of the apex court.

Details about the incident are still sketchy as of the time of filling this report.

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