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Malabu Scam: Court Awards Damages Against AGF To HEDA

A Federal High Court has awarded N50,000 damages in favour of a foremost rights group seeking diligence in the Malabu oil scam.

The Human and Environmental Development Agenda, (HEDA) had sued the Attorney General of the Federation in its bid to ensure transparency and diligence in the Malabu oil allocation by Nigerian authorities.

HEDA had gone to court to compel the Nigerian authorities to bring into public domain all transactions involving the Malabu oil block allocation which involves multinational companies and local officials said to have been bribed with cash running into millions of dollars.

The Malabu case has already assumed international dimension.

In his ruling on Friday, Justice M.S. Hassan, Court No 12, Federal High Court adjourned the case after arguments by both sides, but not without awarding damages in favour of HEDA.

In the case 19 HEDA V. A. G.F (Malabu Case) Appearances with Kunle Adegoke, Aishat Odekunle, Kodinna Anaka for the applicants and Mokuolu for the 1st Respondent, Hamid Abdulkareem, Oladimeji Ojo, Nmadi  Nwodo for the 2nd respondent, Olabisi Makonjuola, Adeniyi Aderogba, Abiodun Rufai, Victoria Anuri for the 3rd Respondent, J. A. Achimogu and E. I and Ejiga for the 4th Respondent.

The 1st Respondent applied for an adjournment because they are just appearing in the matter for the first time adding that they require some time to study the processes to enable them enter the matter properly.

On the adjournment, applicant conceded on the ground that the preliminary objection be taken with the originating motion, referring to Order 25(2) of the Federal High Court Rules, 2000 and also applied for cost of N600,000.00.

The 2nd respondent said that they were not opposed to the adjournment but stated that the  applicant was yet to respond to its preliminary objection since December 13, last year and urged the court to uphold its pronouncement of the February 25 that the  preliminary objections be taken before delving into the originating motion.

The 3rd respondent conceded to the adjournment in the interest of fair hearing stating that the court upholds its ruling of last month to hear the preliminary objections before the substantive suit.

The   court   pronounced that the February pronouncement remains the position that the  case is adjourned till May 24 this year for the hearing of the preliminary objections.

The Court also awarded the cost of N50, 000.00 in favour of the applicant against the Attorney General of the Federation.

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