A High Court sitting in Kubwa, Abuja has quashed allegations of financial crimes against Dr. Yusuf Hamisu Abubakar (Mirago), a former Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF).
The Presiding Judge, Hon Justice Bello Kawu in his ruling also ordered security agencies to desist from interrogating or prosecuting Abubakar, also a former commissioner in Kaduna State.
A group under the aegis of Patriotic Youth Organisation of Nigeria had dragged Abubakar to Court claiming that a Federal Government White Paper had indicted him of embezzling $50 million dollars during his time as PTDF boss.
The group which joined the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFFC) as co-defendant in the case, asked the court to order the EFCC and other security agencies to carry out and implement the recommendations of the White Paper.
But in declaring Abubakar innocent, the Presiding Judge ruled that the White Paper being relied upon by the Claimant has been set aside by a High Court sitting in Lagos.
He said, “After going through the originating summons together with the counter affidavits filed by both the 1st and 2nd Defendants as well as the counter claim and consequential reliefs sought by the 2nd Defendant against the 1st Defendant and response of the 1st defendant by way of counter affidavit, I have found that the crux of this matter is as a result of the White paper Reports of the Administrative Commission of Inquiry by the Federal Government of Nigeria in ‘which the Claimant sought for the following declarations (supra).
“The Claimant is putting heavy reliance on the White Paper. However, this White Paper has been set aside by a Judgment dated 28″ day of November, 2006 in suit No. M/490/2006, between: OTUNBA OYEWOLE FASHAWE Vs ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION & 3 OTHERS by the High Court sitting in Lagos. The judgment has been exhibited and no challenge to the judgment and no appeal on it. I therefore see no reason why this Court can rely on the White Paper that has been set aside by High Court. Hence, this application is hereby refused.”
The ruling comes as a relief to a case that has lingered over 15 years.