Justice I.O. Ijelu has transferred the case involving the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Chief Cletus Ibeto CON to the Lagos State Attorney General for reassignment. This decision stems from the court’s lack of jurisdiction to hear the matter, prompting the Lagos State Attorney General to take over the prosecution following a letter from the Lagos Attorney General.
The case transfer was initiated by a petition submitted by Chief Roberte Clark, SAN, who serves as the counsel to Chief Cletus Ibeto. The case originated from a petition filed by Sir Daniel Chukwudozie with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), leading to charges filed at the Lagos High Court Ikeja against Chief Cletus Ibeto and his companies. These charges are alleged to be unfounded, arising from a business transaction dispute between Chief Cletus Ibeto and Sir Daniel Chukwudozie at the Reclamation Road Layout in Bundu Amo Community, Port Harcourt Local Government Area, Rivers State.
Both parties voluntarily appeared before the High Court of Rivers State to resolve their dispute in Suit No. PHC/15S/CS/2022, where Ibeto Energy Development Limited was declared the rightful owner of the land. The court awarded them the Statutory Right of Occupancy over the land in Port Harcourt City Local Government Area of Rivers State. Dissatisfied with this decision, Sir Daniel Chukwudozie and his companies lodged appeals, and Chief Ibeto filed a Cross-Appeal, challenging a specific aspect of the judgment. These appeals are currently pending at the Court of Appeal Port Harcourt Division.
While awaiting resolution at the Court of Appeal Port Harcourt, Sir Daniel Chukwudozie filed a petition with the EFCC in Lagos, resulting in a charge against Chief Ibeto in Charge No. ID/2149/23. This case, between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Chief Cletus Ibeto & 2 Ors, is scheduled to be heard before Honorable Justice I.O. IJELU at the Ikeja High Court.
The transfer of the case to the Lagos State Attorney General marks a crucial development in the legal proceedings, addressing the jurisdictional matter. The Attorney General will now proceed with the prosecution of the case based on the petition presented by Chief Robert Clark, SAN, representing Chief Cletus Ibeto.