The Federal Government of Nigeria has ordered the withdrawal of the charges allegedly brought by Femi Falana (SAN) against Leo Stan Ekeh, the Chairman of the Zinox Group, his wife, and a few others based on false information regarding an alleged N170 million contract fraud with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
Mr. Benjamin Joseph, the owner of Citadel Oracle Concepts Limited, an Ibadan-based ICT retail firm, is currently on trial for falsely petitioning the Federal Government, alleging that Ekeh and others colluded in defrauding it and his company in executing the contract.
The directive was issued via the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) and communicated in a letter dated October 28, 2022, from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) of the Federation, to the law firm of Falana and Falana.
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Part of the letter reads: “I am directed to write in reference to the above caption and to inform you that the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice in exercise of the power conferred upon him by section 174(1)(c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended, has withdrawn the authorization earlier granted to you dated 10th May, 2022 to prosecute the case mentioned below. You are accordingly, requested to withdraw Charge no. FCT/HC/CR/469/2022 in the interest of justice.”
The letter was signed by M. B. Abubakar, Director of Public Prosecutions of the Federation on behalf of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice.
As a result, the Charge No: FCT/HC/CR/469/2022, allegedly brought by Falana & Falana against Mr. Leo Stan Ekeh, Chioma Ekeh, Chris Eze Ozims, Shade Oyebode, Charles Adigwe, and others, is now void and without foundation.
A copy of this letter, which was issued by the FG after a review of the facts of the matter, has been communicated to the chambers of Mathew Burkaa SAN, legal counsel for Mr. Stan Ekeh and others, under cover of a letter dated Monday 31st October 2022 from the Office of the DPP of the Federation on behalf of the Attorney General of the Federation, reconfirming the withdrawal of the authorization earlier given to Falana & Falana and directing them to discontinue the said Charge no. FCT/HC/CR/469/2022.
This disproves the claims made by Mr. Benjamin Joseph of Citadel Oracle Concept Limited, who said that Mr. Stan Ekeh and the other people named in the various publications would be charged on November 8, 2022.
Instead, the Falana & Falana law firm is required to appear in court on this day and publicly drop the aforementioned Charge no. FCT/HC/CR/469/2022, in accordance with the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation’s explicit instructions.
Conversely, the Honourable AGF, through the Office of the DPP, in a letter dated June 6, 2022, had directed the Inspector General of Police to prosecute Benjamin Joseph to a logical conclusion.