An international businessman and property developer, Cecil Osakwe, has sued the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami SAN, and a civil servant, Asabe Waziri, for abuse of office. The lawsuit was filed at a Federal High Court in Abuja over the purchase of a property worth N130 million in the Maitama District of Abuja by Ms. Waziri, who is a staff of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited.
Mr. Osakwe has requested that the court order N1 billion in damages against the AGF. He claims that his reputation has been damaged through the actions and decisions of the AGF in a civil case between two individuals, and that the AGF used his office to harass him and force him to give out two units of three-bedroom flats in one of his properties to Ms. Waziri, even against a valid court order.
Mr. Osakwe has sued Malami in his personal and official capacity for abuse of office, claiming that Malami acted with malice and abused his office by raising charges of “collecting money under false pretence” from Ms. Waziri when he was fully aware that she had moved into the property and lived there for over eight months before being vacated by a lawful court order that terminated the sales transaction between both parties.
The AGF is accused of bias in the prosecution of the case in which Ms. Waziri is said to be at the centre. The attorney-general and Ms. Waziri have been embroiled in a fierce battle over the control of two units of three-bedroom flats that were sold to Ms. Waziri by Abeh Signature Ltd, a company owned by Mr. Osakwe.
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Mr. Osakwe’s lawsuit against the AGF and Ms. Waziri highlights the issue of abuse of office in Nigeria. By seeking N1 billion in damages, Mr. Osakwe is sending a message that such abuses of power will not be tolerated. The case is an important reminder that those in positions of authority must act responsibly and ethically to avoid negative consequences.