November 25, 2019

Court stops EFCC from prosecuting ex-Customs CG, Dikko

*Mr Dikko Abdullahi: The Comptroller-General

The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday barred the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from prosecuting a former Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Abdullahi Dikko.

Delivering judgment on the suit filed by the ex-Customs chief, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, held that the non-prosecution agreement between the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, and the plaintiff, was binding on the EFCC.

Justice Dimgba held that by virtue of the provisions of section 174 of the Constitution, the AGF being the chief law officer of the federation was imbued with wide powers and discretion on prosecution matters.

The judge said the Commission cannot prosecute the plaintiff because he had an agreement with the AGF and the director-general of the Department of State Services (DSS) that he would refund $8 to the Federal Government.

According to him, since the former Customs chief had kept his promise by refunding N1,576,000,000 and more to the federal government through the EFCC funds recovery account in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), he should not be tried by the Commission or any other anti-graft agency in the country on the same matter.

However, the EFCC insisted the plaintiff should be compelled to face trial over financial crimes he committed during his stint as Customs comptroller -general.