Festus Keyamo has taken his certificate-forgery case against the Comptroller-General of Customs, Alhaji Abdullahi Inde Dikko, which was thrown out by Justice Yetunde Idowu of the Lagos High Court last Friday, to the Appeal Court.
The lawyer had approached the court for an Order of Mandamus compelling the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice of Lagos State and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to initiate criminal proceedings against the customs boss. It concerned allegations brought by Olajide Oyewole that Dikko, with his assistance, had forged certificates belonging to the Nigerian Institute of Management and the West African Examination Council (WAEC) on the basis of which he had built his career.
Justice Idowu threw out the application on the grounds that it was “immature” and lacked the required evidence.
“I agree that this application is premature,” she ruled. “The applicant should provide evidence to the respondent and have confidence in the system.”
In his appeal NO: ID/786M/2011, Mr. Keyamo indicated rejection of “the whole decision.” His grounds of appeal include as follows:
• The Learned Judge erred when he struck out the case of the Applicant on the ground that the police is still investigating the matter; and
• The Learned Judge erred in law when he held that the Applicant ought to produce Mr. Olajide Oyewole to the police in order to obtain written statement from him.
He noted that the applicant petitioned the respondent on the 19th of July, 2010, nearly 2 years ago, and that the respondent petitioned the police on the 28th of July, 2010 mandating the police to investigate Alhaji Dikko.
“The police wrote letter to the NYSC, wrote a letter to NIM to cross check the educational qualification of the Mr. Olajide Oyewole while they deliberately did not write same letter to WAEC and NIM to cross check that of Alhaji Abdulahi Inde Dikko, the accused person,” the notice said.
It also points out that Mr. Oyewole had deposed to an affidavit of facts on the 1st of September, 2009, sworn to at the High Court Registry, Ikeja, graphically stating the names, time and his involvement in the alleged crime.
“The Statement on Oath of Olajide Oyewole which was submitted to the police and also formed undiluted evidence before the Court below was never contradicted by the police,Alhaji Abdulahi Inde Dikko or the Respondent,” it said.
It further pointed out that there is no law that mandates the Complainant to write a statement at the police station before the police can commence an investigation of the accused person, and that the police never invited Alhaji Dikko to contradict or admit the criminal allegation against him.
“The police is obligated to commence investigation on mere suspicion of the commission of a crime,” it asserted.
Mr. Keyamo wants the order of the Lagos High Court to be set aside, and an order permitting him to prosecute Alhaji Dikko without further recourse to the DPP.