A Lagos Division of the Federal High Court has granted reliefs sought by Mr Babajide Odusola, former Managing Director of the Ogun Property Investment Corporation (OPIC), seeking to enforce his fundamental rights.
Justice Peter Odo Lifu granted the reliefs sought by the applicant (Odusola) in an ex-parte application filed and argued by Mr Ebun Adegboruwa (SAN) and Mr Adetunji Adedoyin-Adeniyi, who are counsel to the applicant.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the applicant sought an order of the court restraining the respondents from taking any action against him related to a report by the Ogun assembly either by invitation or by arrest until the court has heard and determined the substantive suit. The matter was adjourned till January 13, 2022, for a hearing of the substantive suit.
What happened in court
At the resumed hearing on Friday, Mr F. E Bolarinwa, Counsel for Ogun State Ministry of Justice told the court that he had issues in filing his processes, he then sought an adjournment to enable him to file a counter affidavit in opposition to the suit.
Justice Lifu noted that the respondents had not shown cause in the matter. He held that an application for adjournment was not unmeritorious.
The court made a declaration that the report of the committee and proceedings of the assembly which it earlier adopted constituted an infringement on Mr Adesolu’s fundamental rights to a fair hearing.
In an affidavit in support of his application, Odusola averred that in October 2020, he had received a letter inviting him to the Ogun state assembly to appear at its Public Account and Anti-Corruption Committee (PAAC) to clarify alleged irregularities in the activities of OPIC.
He said he honoured the invitation but was confronted with an allegation of misappropriation of OPIC funds. According to him, he never received any complaints or charges against him during his tenure as OPIC Managing Director.
He therefore, sought an interim order, directing respondents to maintain the status quo in respect of the decision of the assembly, pending final determination of the originating motion.
He also sought an order restraining the respondents from taking further steps in relation to the subject matter pending the final determination of the suit.
In case you missed it
Nairametrics reported that the Ogun State House of Assembly had ordered the former OPIC boss to return the sum of N40 million which has not been accounted for since 2019. He was given six months to return the money to the state treasury.
Nairametrics also reported that Mr Odusola described the allegation levied against him on financial misappropriation by the State’s House of Assembly as false.
What you should know
While Babajide is the applicant in the suit, Respondents included: Ogun State House of Assembly, the clerk of the House, Inspector-General of Police, Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of zone II, and Commissioner of Police, Ogun State.
In a suit marked: FHC/L/CS/1273/2021, Mr Adesolu had instituted a fundamental rights enforcement suit against the Inspector General of Police and others.
The Chairman of the Committee that allegedly investigated OPIC funds was an interested party, who served together with Odusolu in the previous administration.
On September 21, 2021, during the plenary, the Ogun state assembly adopted the report of its Committee on Anti-Corruption and Public Accounts, which claimed to have investigated the finances of OPIC and huge sums of money that were missing from OPIC accounts.