By Nnamdi Felix/Abuja
The Anambra state gubernatorial aspirant under the platform of Labour Party had dragged the anti graft agency, the Inspector General of Police as well as the Attorney General of Police before the court following moves by the authorities to arrest and prosecute him over an alleged petroleum subsidy scam.
The court faulted an invitation sent to Mr. Ubah by the EFCC and granted an order restraining the commission, the Inspector General of Police and the Attorney General of the Federation from moving against the Ubah and his company over the subsidy issue.
The court’s decision was contained in the judgment delivered at about 3:12 pm Thursday in a fundamental rights enforcement suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/284/2013, filed by Mr. Ubah and his company.
The judge upheld Ubah’s rights and granted four out of the five prayers requested by the petroleum importer as raised in the suit.
The oil magnate had challenged the decision by the EFCC to re-investigate the complaint that he and his company were involved in the petroleum subsidy fraud and argued that it was wrong for the EFCC, IGP, AGF and any other agency of the government to want to prosecute them over the same issue on which a Federal High Court in Lagos had exonerated them by virtue of its February 18, 2013 judgment in suit number: FHC/CS/07/2013 and a report by the House of Representatives committee which investigate the fuel subsidy fraud.
Relying on a letter dated February 12, 2013 written by the Police Special Fraud Unit, D Department to the Minister of Finance, clearing them of any criminal complicity in the allegation of subsidy fraud made against them, Justice Abdul-Kafarati declared that the February 18 judgment, the House of Representatives’ committee report and the police letter of February 12 “collectively amounted to a complete and final exoneration of any criminal offence with regard to application for receipt of subsidy payment under the Federal Government of Nigeria Petroleum Support Fund (PSF) scheme.
In view of these, the court held that Ubah and his company had been completely exonerated from any reasonable suspicion of commission of any criminal offence under the subsidy scheme and that the threat of detention, arrest and prosecution by the anti graft agency amounted to an infraction of the Ubah’s fundamental rights enshrined in Sections 35 (1)(c) and 36(5) of the Constitution.
The judge thereafter made an order of perpetual injunction restraining the EFCC, the IGP and the AGF from taking further action with respect to the allegation of subsidy fraud which have already been investigated by relevant agencies of the government, House of Representatives Committee and from which Ubah and his company had been cleared of any reasonable suspicion of commission of criminal offence and in respect of which a Federal High Court had made a decision.