WHY EL-RUFAI SHOULD FACE TRIAL - EFCC
A Federal Capital Territory High Court presided over by Justice Sadiq Abubakar Umar has been urged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC to discountenance a motion brought before it by a former minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai and two others seeking to quash charges preferred against them. The EFCC said that the three accused persons are public officers and that the Commission has an absolute authority to prefer charges against them. The two other accused persons arraigned with El-Rufai are former Director-General, Abuja Geographic Information System ( AGIS); Atine Jubrin, and former General- Manager, Abuja Geographic Information System, AGIS, Ismail Iro.
Counsel to EFCC, Adebayo Adelodun, SAN , had questioned the motion seeking to quash the charges saying that it was an abuse of court processes to have brought the same motion which had earlier been ruled upon. He said that the court had on March 28th, 2011 granted EFCC leave to prefer charges against the accused persons and that the court's decision was borne out of proof that the EFCC had a prima facie case against them. Adelodun further averred that the defence counsel's submission that the first accused person, Mallam El- Rufai was not a public officer but rather a political appointee hence should not be charged under the ICPC's Act, was erroneous as section 2 of the ICPC Act clearly describes a public officer as one who is employed or engaged in the service of the federation.
'My lord, the enabling law has intrinsically described who a public officer is and takes into consideration circumstances of other people engaged as consultants, ministers, and other non- regular staff in the service of the federation.
On the argument by the defence counsel that the charges have violated the law of duplicity and should then be quashed, prosecution counsel said that according to some rulings of both the Supreme and Appeal courts, it is not in all cases that duplicity of charges are deemed as a sufficient ground to quash a case but only when there is an occasion to miscarry justice.