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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Lagos AG urges court to reject allegations against Customs boss

The Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Ade Ipaye, has justified the state’s tardiness in deciding whether or not to prosecute the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Mr Ibrahim Dikko, over an allegation of forgery made against him by a lawyer, Mr Festus Keyamo.

Ipaye blamed the failure of the Nigeria Police Force to produce a comprehensive investigative report on the issue for his inability to decide on how to proceed with the case.

The AG said he was constrained by the failure of the Police to furnish him with the report of its investigation of the case, two years after he wrote to them (the Police), seeking a thorough investigation of the allegation contained in a July 19, 2010, petition by Keyamo.

Ipaye’s position is contained in a counter affidavit filed by the state to a suit by Keyamo, seeking to compel the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) to exercise his discretion under Section 258(a) of the state’s Administration of Criminal Justice Law 2007, to decide whether or not to prosecute Dikko.

The AG contended in the affidavit deposed to by a lawyer in the state’s Justice Ministry, Olateju Taiwo, that the evidence presented by Keyamo was insufficient for him to make a definite conclusion, a development he said informed his July 28, 2010, letter to the Police.

Ipaye argued that although materials presented by Keyamo contained allegations of forgery of the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM) and West African Examination Council (WAEC) documents, Keyamo failed to include evidence from these institutions to support his claims.
He urged the court to disregard Keyamo’s application for an order of mandamus compelling the DPP to exercise its discretion to either prosecute Dikko or not. He contended that the application was premature because the Police was yet to provide the necessary evidence on which his office could act.

Keyamo had, while relying on a deposition by Olajide Oyewole, who claimed to have aided  Dikko in the alleged forgery, accused the Customs boss of forging an NIM certificate numbered: 10912, and a WAEC certificate numbered: NGSG37836 of 1980.
On December 13, last year, Justice Yetunde Idowu of the Lagos High Court, Ikeja, granted Keyamo leave to apply for an order of mandamus compelling the DPP to exercise his discretion on whether or not to prosecute Dikko over the allegation.

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Lagos AG urges court to reject allegations against Customs boss

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