A Federal High Court in Abuja presided over by Justice Binta Nyako could not sit on Tuesday over a cyberstalking charge preferred against the Chairman of Human and Environmental Development Agenda, (HEDA Resource Centre), Olanrewaju Suraju by the Nigerian government.
A former Minister of Justice, Bello Adoke, one of those accused of and charged with fraud in the OPL245 scam, also referred to as Malabu scandal, had petitioned the police, accusing those behind petitions resulting in his prosecution for corruption and money laundering of circulating fabricated evidence against him to unduly incriminate him in the multi-million dollar scandal.
The subject of Adoke’s petition was forgery of an email in which Nigeria, as a sovereign State was short-changed to the tune of $1.1 billion and HEDA and its international partners have been involved in the advocacy for recovery of this money and prosecution of principal actors behind the heist.
However, HEDA and Suraju have denied any wrongdoing in a series of statements issued on the matter, stating that the items they were accused of fabricating featured as exhibits in the Malabu Oil scam trials in London, UK and Milan, Italy.
The Nigerian government, through the office of the Attorney General of the Federation recently filed four counts in a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/370/2021, accusing Suraju of using his social media handles as well as emails and audio interviews to circulate false information on Adoke.
But in a preliminary objection to the suit against him, Suraju, through his counsel, M.A. Banire & Associates led by Dr. Muiz Banire (SAN), sought the dismissal of the suit, stating that the court lacks jurisdiction to entertain the charge against him.
However, SaharaReporters gathered that Malami, Adoke and the prosecutor team were not in court while the court authorities refused to inform Suraju and his legal team.
Suraju was in court with his lawyer and Comrade Zikrillah Ibrahim of CHRICED, in solidarity.
He was however was left disappointed.
He also complained of the cost of travelling only to find the court would not be sitting.
The court, after consultation with the counsel, adjourned the matter till January 24, 2022.