The House of Representatives, has adopted a petition by African Centre for Justice and Human Rights (ACJHR), seeking investigation of alleged contempt and abuse of Nigeria Judicial Sovereignty by officers of British Government and their investigative agencies, National Crime Agency (NCA), Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and an investigator/prosecutor called Sara Melo, who were allegedly acting in contempt to undermine Nigeria’s Judicial Sovereignty and disrespect of judgements of Nigerian Courts, which cleared Nigerian businessman and AITEO boss, Benedict Peters, of any wrongdoings.
The British agencies and official reportedly disregarded the Nigeria’s Court rulings and have been allegedly trying to undermine court judgements, which have vindicated African businessman Peters and quashed all allegations against him with over 10 High Court Judgements clearing him of all wrongdoings.
These include cases that the British authorities were parties to in Nigeria for which they are at appeal in just one but still carrying out actions to allegedly defame, detract and undermine Peters with the mention of his name in UK proceedings on matters competent courts had affirmed his innocence, cleared him and barred the UK authorities from dragging his name into such decided issues.
Laying the petition on behalf of the Civil Society Organisation (CSO) on Tuesday before the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Aliyu Mustapha, representing Kubau/Ikara Federal Constituency of Kaduna State, said the group sought that a thorough legislative investigation to be conducted into the continued undermining and defaming of the name of the Nigerian businessman and ensure that the British Government ends the undermining of Nigeria Judicial Sovereignty and judgements of competent Courts in Nigeria.
The group also prayed that the investigation should lead to a stoppage in the abuse of judicial sovereignty which can be seen in the disdain with which judgements from Nigerian courts were treated especially the over 10 High Court Judgements which have cleared Peters of any criminal wrongdoings, quashed a witness statement and investigative reports from NCA, CPS, Stacey Boniface, including the issues being reintroduced by one Sara Melo, who knows very well that all the issues for which Benedict Peters’ name is being bandied about have all been resolved by competent courts and court proceedings that the NCA, CPS and others were parties and actively participated.
It stressed that the petition was a call for Nigerian parliament to stop the unwarranted attacks and abuse of the sanctity of the nation’s judicial pronouncements and rights of her citizens.
The petition, signed by ACJHR secretary, Chisom Nduka Edede, Esq, read in part: “Sometime in 2015 the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) commenced an investigation into certain activities of Mr. Benedict Peters, CEO of AITEO Energy Resources, owners and operators of the OML 29 and the Nembe creek Trunk Line.
“Obviously not finding any infractions, some persons within the EFCC allegedly hatched a plan with some of their collaborators in the National Crime Agency and Crown Prosecution Service in the UK to harass and intimidate and eventually steal some properties belonging to Mr. Benedict Peters and his companies.
“These properties include houses in the United Kingdom. it looks as if the Nigerian group would take some while the British collaborators will take over the OML 29 which AITEO legitimately acquired from Shell Petroleum Development Company. The EFCC started by declaring Mr. Peters wanted.
“This action has been declared as illegal by the Court and unlawful by the Court as it amounted to a gross violation of the rights of Mr. Peters, especially his constitutionally guaranteed right of fair hearing as espoused in the latin maxim ‘audi alteram paterm’. which means hear the other side. From 2016 till date.
“At least 10 courts before which Mr. Peters has appeared have all vindicated him and cleared him of all charges and allegations of infractions. malfeasance or indeed any crime. Instructively, the FCT High Court in the case BENEDICT PETERS & 3 ORS V ATTORNEY-GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION & 6 ORS – SUIT NO. FCT/HC/CV/0536/2017 found the defendants which included EFCC, NCA, CPS and their officials liable in carousel fraud for suppressing and misrepresenting facts about the properties of Mr. Peters with a view to taking them over.
“The court thereafter awarded damages of N200.000.0OO in favour of Mr. Peters and his companies. This decision which was given by the court six years ago has not been appealed against by anyone. it is quite disheartening that despite the numerous judgments of court, the British agencies and their officials particularly one Sarah Melo have continued to disregard the judgments and treat same with disdain.
“The FCT High Court has also granted an order for these numerous judgments to be served, registered and enforced in several countries including the United Kingdom.”