A federal high court in Abuja has set August 30 for the decision in a lawsuit brought by former Zamfara governor Bello Matawalle.

Efforts are being made by the former governor to stop the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from looking into him.

The Department of State Services (DSS), Nigeria police force, Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), EFCC and the attorney-general of the federation, are the first to sixth defendants in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/753/2023.

Matawalle argued that there is a subsisting judgment of a federal high court in Gusau restraining the anti-graft commission from prosecuting him.

Matawalle said Amina Aliyu, the judge, delivered the judgment in a suit marked FHC/GS/CS/30/2021 on May 31, 2023.

He said the judge held that the EFCC or any other authority asides from the Zamfara state anti-corruption commission “have no authority or power to arrest or prosecute him on the basis of any investigation, report or allegation bordering on any alleged corrupt practices/financial crimes against the plaintiff or his administration as governor of Zamfara”.

In an affidavit supporting the suit, Matawalle, through his counsel, Kehinde Akinlolu, contended that the allegations made by the defendants, particularly the EFCC, regarding corrupt practices and misappropriation of Zamfara state funds, are fabricated with the intent to tarnish his leadership and the trust the public has in him.

Akinlolu further submitted that all contracts awarded during Matawalle’s tenure as governor of Zamfara followed due process, were properly documented, and have well-maintained records.

He said unless restrained, the defendants are likely to unlawfully arrest, detain, and prosecute his client in violation of his rights.

At the session on Tuesday, O.A Aderohumu, counsel representing the first defendant, prayed the court to remove the DSS from the suit.

M. K Hussein, EFCC counsel, prayed the court to dismiss the suit on the grounds that it lacks merit.

There were no legal representatives for the third and sixth defendants at the hearing.

Ahmed Mohammed, presiding judge, fixed August 30 for judgment in the suit.




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