The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory has postponed the hearing of a case against the former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, on allegations of office abuse.
Justice Oluyemisi Adelaja adjourned the case to a later date and ordered the necessary court papers to be served to Malami, enabling him to present his defense.
Proof of service of the lawsuit and hearing notice should be provided to the court.
The lawsuit seeks an order for the former AGF to pay N1 billion in damages to Mr. Cecil Osakwe, an international businessman and property developer.
Osakwe alleges that Malami coerced him to give two units of three-bedroom flats to a civil servant, Mrs. Asabe Waziri, through his misuse of office.
Malami allegedly disregarded a court order and forced the transfer of the property, which was worth around N130 million.
According to the plaintiff, Malami interfered in a civil dispute between his firm and Mrs. Waziri and used his position to subject him to continuous harassment by security operatives.
The plaintiff filed the legal action against Malami in both his official and personal capacity, claiming that the AGF acted maliciously and abused his office by making false accusations.
Despite knowing that Mrs. Waziri had already occupied the property, Malami took action to ensure its transfer to her, ignoring the lawful court order that terminated the sales transaction.
In addition to requesting the court to declare that the AGF engaged in the abuse of public office, the plaintiff urged the court to order Malami to pay N1 billion in damages.
During the recent proceedings, Malami was absent from court and had no legal representation.
Counsel for the plaintiff, Mr. Giwa, argued that the former AGF should have been present, stating that he should not use his previous position to pursue personal interests.
The bailiff was instructed to serve all the respondents in the matter, emphasizing the importance of the case in sending a message to public officers about the misuse of their office.
In response, counsel for Mrs. Waziri, Mr. C.J. Abengowe, argued that the case could not proceed since Malami was not represented in court.
After considering both sides, Justice Adelaja granted the ex-AGF another opportunity to respond to the lawsuit, leading to another adjournment of the suit.