Lawyer threatens to proceed with contempt proceedings against new ICPC chair

By Taiye Agbaje
 A legal practitioner, Mr Eric Ifere, has threatened to proceed with pending committal proceedings to prison against Dr Musa Aliyu, SAN, the newly appointed Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
Ifere, counsel for Nkrah Marine Limited and its CEO gave the warning in a letter addressed to Aliyu and the copies made available to newsmen on Friday in Abuja.
 In the letter dated Jan. 17, 2024, and received by the commission same day, the lawyer said that until the ICPC’s chairman obeys the court orders by removing the restrictions placed on his client’s bank accounts and paying the N5 million ordered by the court, the committal for contempt of court proceedings would be moved on the hearing date.
The letter reads: “We are mindful that you have recently resumed office and may not be aware of the pending committal proceedings to prison against you as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ICPC, the first judgment debtor, for having refused to obey the orders of the court made against it.
“On Jan. 18, 2022,  the Federal High Court, Abuja, made an order directed you to remove the restrictions placed on the judgment creditors’ bank accounts numbers: 2657858013, 4573142058 and 4573142027 domiciled with First City Monument Bank (FCMB) and account number: 1000576777 domiciled with Zenith Bank Plc and pays the judgment creditors N5, 000, 000 in damages.
“On 4th July 2022, the same Federal  High Court delivered a ruling refusing the 1st judgment debtor’s request for a stay of execution of its judgment.
“Further, it directed you to remove the judgment creditors’ account restrictions immediately.
“Regrettably,  you have neglected and refused to obey the honourable court’s judgment and orders to date.
“Consequently, the judgment creditors have commenced contempt proceedings against you.
“And the hearing date is fixed for the 8th of February, 2024 at court number 12, Federal High Court, Abuja, while maintaining that restricting their bank accounts undermines the judgment of the court and violates their fundamental rights.”
Ifere urged Aliyu to review the decision by lifting the restrictions and paying the damages before the hearing date for the contempt proceedings.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that while the ICPC chairman is listed as judgment debtor/contemnor in the motion on notice for committal proceedings, FCMB and Zenith Bank are listed as 2nd and 3rd respondents respectively.
The motion, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1347/2021 dated Nov. 1, 2023, and filed on Nov. 2, 2023, before Hon Justice Mobolaji Olajuwon of an FHC, Abuja, has been fixed for Feb  8 for hearing.(NAN)