FORMER comptroller-general of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) Abudullahi Dikko won a high court injunction today barring the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from pursuing its case against him because he has reached a deal with the government.
Alhaji Dikko was the head of the NCS between August 2009 and August 2015 and after he left office, the EFCC initiated prosecution charges against him. He was charged with a N1.1bn corruption count and after several appearances in court, confessed to owning properties worth $50m in Dubai alone.
After being charged, Alhaji Dikko who returned to Nigeria from abroad looking gaunt and frail after he was declared wanted, reportedly suffering from prostate cancer, is said to be very poor health as the ailment is reportedly at the terminal stage. However, he was not arrested and hurled into detention because the authorities are worried that if harshly treated, he might die in detention, making it harder to recover his assets from Dubai.
Entering into a plea bargain, Alhaji Dikko reached an agreement with the attorney-general of the federation and the director-general of the Department of State Services (DSS) to refund $8m to the government. However, with the EFCC continuing its case against him, the former NCS boss went to court, requesting that all action against him stop.
Today, a federal high court in Abuja ruled in Alhaji Dikko’s favour as Justice Nnamdi Dimgba upheld his argument that he could no longer be prosecuted by any agency of the federal government. Justice Dimgba held that since it was proved that such an agreement exist and Alhaji Dikko has kept his side of the bargain by paying N1,576,000,000 and more to the federal government, through the EFCC funds recovery account in Central Bank of Nigeria, it was wrong for any agency of government to seek to prosecute him on the same alleged crime.