Adoke Withdraws N10.2bn Libel Case Against Melaye
SAN FRANCISCO, April 09, (THEWILL) - Relief came on Wednesday for an anti-corruption crusader and former member of the House of Representatives, Mr.
Dino Melaye, as the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr.
Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN), applied to the Federal High Court in Abuja, seeking to withdraw the N10.
2 billion libel case he filed against him.
Adoke's lawyer, Zekeri Garuba , who moved the application for the withdrawal of the case before Justice Olasimbo Goodluck , was however silent on the reason for the withdrawal, saying he was only acting on the instruction of his client.
Melaye's counsel , Moses Ideh, did not object to the request either as Justice Goodluck subsequently struck the case out .
In May 2013, the Minister had dragged the Registered Trustees of Anti-corruption Network (ACN), where Melaye serves as the Executive Secretary, to court, claiming among others, to have been defamed in some claims made about him by the group in its petition to President Goodluck Jonathan.
Adoke particularly accused Melaye of damaging his reputation in a publication on April 12 where he accused him (Adoke) of corrupt practices, obstruction of justice for corrupt elements and abuse of power as Justice Minister.
Melaye had, in the petition he authored for his group, raised seven allegations bordering on abuse of office against Adoke, including the controversial cases on the N150 billion recovered from former Oceanic Bank Managing Director, Mrs.
Cecilia Ibru; the $180 million Halliburton scandal and the return of the Vaswani brothers to Nigeria after an alleged N2.
5 billion tax evasion.
Melaye also alleged that Adoke raised a memo on the case of the Vaswani brothers who were deported for a second time in April 2009 for an alleged N2.
5 billion tax evasion that they should be allowed to return to Nigeria.
He further accused the minister of dereliction of duty by not re-filing the dismissal by Justice Archibong of the Federal High Court of the N10 billion money laundering charge preferred against a former Managing Director of Intercontinental Bank Plc, Erastus Akingbola, on the grounds of shoddy prosecution.
The Minister argued that the words used in the publication by ACN conveyed the impression that he was a dishonourable person, who associated with criminals and economic saboteurs.
He alleged that because of the false and defamatory publication, his hard-earned reputation, character and achievements had been severely tarnished.
Adoke therefore prayed the court to award N10.
2bn damages against the defendant and N200m as cost of filing the suit.
When the case started, Adoke had exhibited the strong will to pursue the suit as he was represented by over five Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN).
The determination however appeared to have diminished shortly after the defendant filed its defence.
No major progress was made in the case until Adoke instructed his counsel to apply for the withdrawal of the suit.