The office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice yesterday stalled the hearing filed by two lawyers to try former Speaker, House of Representatives, Mrs Patricia Olubunmi Etteh, over allegation of corruption.
The case could not go on because a lawyer from the office of the AGF, Sunday Yako, who is representing the AGF in the case, was unable to serve his objection to the suit on other parties.
When the suit filed by two lawyers, Ogochukwu Osuagwu and Charles Ogboli, came up at an Abuja High Court, the Chief Judge of the FCT, Justice Lawal Gumi, who presided over the case stood the matter down for an hour for Yako to make copies of the objection available to other parties in the matter, despite being out of time already for the service.
Yako came back after about an hour to tell the court that he could not get photocopy machines around to make copies of the process, even when it was pointed out to him that one was available at a business centre located directly opposite the court.
In the objection, the AGF said that the Abuja High Court had no power to hear a suit seeking to compel the prosecution of Etteh.
He argued that only the Federal High Court could hear such matter.
The two lawyers filed the action to compel the Independent and Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate, arrest and prosecute Etteh over the N628million contract scam.
The government said in the objection filed by R.N Chenge, a deputy director in the ministry in charge of prosecution, that the high court of the FCT had no power to hear the case.
A report of the House of Representatives had indicted Etteh in the award of contracts for the renovation of his official residence and that of her former deputy, Babangida Nguroje. The report stated that due process was not followed in the award of the contracts.
In the originating summons, the lawyers want the court to determine whether the EFCC and the ICPC have a statutory duty and power under Section 5(1) of the EFCC Act and Section 6(1) of the ICPC Act to investigate, arrest and prosecute offenders. The case has been adjourned to the 10th of December.