COURTROOM NEWS 22/06/2022
Ibeto Vs EFCC: Out Of Court Settlement Failed Woefully – Dozzy’s Counsel Tells Court
The counsel for Mr. Daniel Chukwudozie and Dozzy Oil and Gas Limited, Mr. Okey Obikeze, in a fundamental human rights case by Mr. Cletus Ibeto, yesterday, told the High Court of Rivers State in Port Harcourt that efforts to settle matters out of court have failed woefully.
The applicant (Ibeto) had filed a fundamental human rights suit against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Daniel Chukwudozie and Dozzy Oil and Gas Limited, seeking the court to prevent the anti-graft agency from investigating allegations of fraud bordering on obtaining by false pretence N4.8 billion forgery and criminal breach of trust brought against him by Dozzy Oil and Gas Limited.
The matter filed by the applicant in Suit No. PHC/268/FHR/2022, also prayed the court to declare the alleged harassment on him unlawful, declaring that EFCC is not empowered to tackle contract matters.
At the resumed hearing, I. Mboho, who announced holding a brief for Onyechi Ikpeazu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), counsel for the applicant, told the court that negotiation for out-of-court-settlement was ongoing.
Mboho urged the court for more time to conclude the settlement by parties in the matter.
But, Obikeze, counsel for the second respondent, countered the applicant’s counsel’s position, and informed the court that the out-of-court-settlement could not be reached between the parties.
Obikeze said that after the parties in the case had met and the attempt to settle was not fruitful, they (parties) agreed that the settlement had failed.
He went further to say that the parties agreed that they should return and inform the court accordingly, so that a new date could be given for the matter to proceed.
He orally applied that the court should adopt their processes to commence hearing on the matter.
The trial judge, Justice Boma Diepiri, after listening to the submissions of both counsels, agreed on a short date for the parties to return and brief the court on their final decision.
The matter was subsequently adjourned till July 11, for a report of settlement.
It was observed that counsel for EFCC was not present in court during the hearing on the matter.
Second respondent’s counsel, Obikeze, who spoke outside the courtroom, explained that the settlement plan was not fruitful and his client was ready for the case.