Counsel to Bilad Group and Mrs Mommoh Reacts to Forfeiture Order,Says ‘It’s a Publicity Stunt’
A lawyer to Blaid Group , Ade Adedeji, SAN,has responded to the order of forefieture obtained by the ICPC against his clients ,describing the development as “an attempt to subvert justice” and “abuse of court process”
The summary of the statement are as follows :
*That Bilad Group and Mrs Mommoh had obtained a judgement against ICPC in July 2019
*That ICPC appealed the judgement which is still pending;
* That ICPC abandoned the appeal to approach Abuja High Court;
* That the ICPC did not disclose its appeal to the Abuja Court;
* That the said order is an abuse of court process;
*That ICPC had acted similarly in 2017 and that the court later vacated the order;
*That Counsels aiding such conduct will be reported to Legal Practitioners’ Council;
*That immediate steps are been taken to vacate the said forfeiture order.
The full statement reads as follows :
“We have read the publications in the newspapers today and for the avoidance of doubt, we confirm that the order obtained by ICPC, which we have since confirmed through a search of the records of court is a calculated scheme by ICPC to pervert justice.
“Indeed, we can confirm that on 4th July, 2019, Blaid Group and Mrs. Momoh obtained judgment at the Federal High Court, which judgement permanently settled issues between parties in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/132/2019.
“As it is also the right of parties, ICPC had appealed the judgment through filing of Notice of Appeal, etc. But rather than prosecute their appeal, they surreptitiously approached the FCT High Court and misled the court as if the appeal never existed and without disclosing to the new court that there was judgment of the Federal High Court against them, they moved the court ex-parte to grant an order of temporary forfeiture.
“The act of ICPC, which has become a pattern to score cheap publicity and enhance their deliberate scheme of boosting their image as hard-working and crime busters where there is none is a shame, a travesty of justice, a gross abuse of process of court and of power granted them under their enabling law which never anticipated it would be used for self-aggrandizement.
“This attitude needs to be condemned by every well-meaning Nigerian. It may also be of interest to note that in 2017, they had approached the FCT High Court obtained similar order, went to the press to run down the clients and their businesses. In similar pattern, they had concocted facts, misrepresented facts to court.
“In the ruling of court vacating/setting aside the order, the court in Suit No. FCT/HC/M/5388/17 had castigated ICPC for obtaining order fraudulently.
“We have identified Counsels that are often engaged to commit these atrocities and on clients’ instructions are considering the relevant provisions of Legal Practitioners’ Act as it relates to discipline of counsel in such circumstances.
“Grateful that our laws provide for necessary relief in the face of such reckless abuse and immediate steps are being taken to vacate the order.
“More importantly, we are also considering filing petitions against Counsel involved in misrepresenting facts to court to obtain ex-parte order which ordinarily would not have been granted.
“It is our responsibility to do everything possible lawfully to ensure this nonsense is abated”,the statement noted.