The Deputy Senate President, Dr. Ike Ekweremmadu, has asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to stop the hearing of an application by the Federal Government on March 21, 2018, where it sought an interim order for the temporary forfeiture of his “undeclared” assets to the government.
Ekweremadu represents Enugu West Senatorial District under the platform of the People Democratic Party (PDP) in the National Assembly.
The government had told the court that without its order attaching/forfeiting the said assets, “the likelihood of the frustration of investigations as well as the dissipation of the said properties is very high.”
Mr. Festus Keyamo, who filed the suit on behalf of the government, submitted that an order of court would enable it to carry out a thorough investigation into the activities of Ekweremadu in the acquisition of the property as it relates to the allegation of a breach of Code of Conduct for Public Officers.
But at the proceedings on Tuesday, Mr. Bala Dakum, announced appearance for the government while Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN) entered appearance for Ekwremadu.
Dakum told the court that being an ex-parte application, ordinarily the respondent was not supposed to be in court not to talk of being heard.
He said what happened was that while waiting for the court to fix a date for the hearing of the motion, the respondent filed an application, seeking to be heard.
The FG’s lawyer informed the court that he had filed a counter affidavit in opposition to Ekweremmadu’s application.
On his part, Awomolo told the court that he equally filed two applications on March 26, 2018.
The first application filed by Awomolo is praying the court for leave to be heard in the motion ex-parte.
The second application wants the court to decline jurisdiction and exercise of judicial power, and consequently strike out or dismiss the motion ex-parte.
Awomolo based his application on the ground that the Federal Government’s Special Panel on Assets Recovery was unknown to law.
After hearing the counsel, Justice Binta Nyako, severed the two applications filed by Ekweremadu and held that the first one should be heard.
Justice Nyako adjourned the matter till April 26.