AMML: Wike In Contempt Of Court Over Reinstatement Of MD-Lawyer Says

Counsel to MD of Abuja Markets Management Limited, Barr. Faruk Kemiel Khamagam during Friday's media briefing

By Bukola Kayode

The crisis rocking the Abuja Markets Management Limited (AMML) has continued with, Faruk Kemiel Khamagam, the lawyer to the Managing Director of the company, Abubakar Usman Faruk, accusing the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike of being in contempt of the court.

Khamagam the principal counsel of Ruklyn Law Chambers Abuja made the accusation at a media briefing held in Abuja on Friday.

According to him, the minister has chosen to ignore valid court orders and judgment on the leadership of AMML. He said his client had no other option to approach the National Industrial Court in November with the court commencing on contempt proceedings against Wike, the Abuja Investment Company Limited (AICL), former Acting Managing Director of AMML, Engineer Yakubu Abbas and the Federal Capital Territory Authority (FCTA).

He decried what he described as the continued abuse of power by the minister and other entities joined in the suit being heard by the National Industrial Court. He alleged that the minister and his surrogates have in recent months, taken different steps to frustrate the AMML Managing Director out of office despite a valid court order reinstating him.

Faruk’s counsel further described as ill-advised, the decision of the minister to include AMML in the list of heads of agencies asked to vacate their seats in a September 27, 2023 in a press statement issued by the minister to this effect.

He opined that minister added AMML to his list for a change of leadership without considering the peculiar situations surrounding the agency’s headship and the legal events that preceded his appointment as minister of the FCT.

He said: You may recall, that on 10th July 2023, the Federal High Court of Nigeria, Abuja Division, delivered judgment in the case we filed on behalf of our client, in suit number: FHC/ABJ/CS/499/2023- between Alh. Abubakar Usman Faruk vs. Abuja Markets Management Limited & 3 Ors., wherein the court reaffirmed the position and office of client, Alh. Abubakar Usman Faruk as the Managing Director of AMML.

“This was also followed up by another Judgment in Suit number: NICN/ABJ/62/2023 between Alh. Abubakar Usman Faruk vs. Hon. Minister of FCT & 3 Ors., wherein the National Industrial Court also validated the position of our client as the authentic and substantive managing director and chief executive officer of AMML. Recall further, that following their purported meeting of 17th July 2023 wherein they purportedly removed our client as managing director of AMML, the same National Industrial Court vide an interim order made on 26th July 2023, restraining them from giving effect whatsoever to that purported removal. However, despite the subsistence of these judgments and orders, subsequent events have shown total disregard and lack of respect for the judiciary and judicial processes on the parts of FCT Minister, FCT General Counsel, and their foot soldiers including but not limited to Engr. Mohammed Abbas Yakubu, the Commissioner of Police FCT, among others”.

He continued: “While our client has continued to live by and obey these court orders and judgments, the FCT Minister, his General Counsel, Barr. Salman Y. Dako, Esq, have both directly and through their recruits, including but not limited to the aforementioned, have continued to deliberately violate and disobey these judgments and orders. Rather, they have been engaging in share display of abuse of office, authority and use of force and the machinery of government for personal vendetta.

“The most recent of these events happened on Monday, 6th November, 2023, when staff of the Abuja Markets Management Limited (AMML) and members of the public carrying out their normal businesses at Adisa Plaza, Gudu Housing the Head Office of AMML woke up to a brazen and wrongful display of political power, intimidation, harassments and show of force by the Minister of the FCT, Barr. Nyesom Wike, acting through his General Counsel, Salman Y. Dako, Esq. and the Commissioner of Police, FCT, wherein gun-wielding Nigeria Police officers from Dagba Police Division armed with a letter, signed by the FCTA’s General Counsel, were deployed to the Plaza. 

“The Police officers who were armed with intimidating weapons and comprising those from various units proceeded to forcefully lock up the entire Head office of AMML in a gestapo styled siege that lasted for over two weeks, mounting a full beat at the entrance and within the entire vicinity of the plaza. They took this a step further by forcing every occupant of the second floor of the plaza including members of staff of AMML to stay away, preventing them from carrying out their legitimate businesses at the plaza, saying to everyone that asked that they were acting on the instruction of the Commissioner of Police, FCT and the FCT’s General Counsel”.

Khamagam stated that all actions taken behind Faruk were illegal owing to earlier judicial pronouncements.  He warned staff of AMML and the general public and all banks/financial institutions, regulators, to note that, “That, all decisions, instructions, and/or directives given by or at the instance of Engr. Mohammed Abbas Yakubu are illegal and remain null and void with no legal effect whatsoever.

He added: “All financial transaction, written instruments whether in the form of letter, memo, contract, report, MOU, etc in the name of AMML, or signed by Engr. Mohammed Abbas Yakubu or any of Mr. Onya Nsor Ojiji, Faruk Baffa, Innocent Amaechina, Musa Hussaini Shelleng, Deborah Jai, Asogwa Gloria, Ibrahim Sa’ad or any other person under the instruction of or at the instance of Engr. Mohammed Abbas Yakubu in any capacity as a staff of AMML are void ab initio and will not be recognised by AMML.

“All authentic staff of AMML purportedly sacked by Engr. Mohammed Abbas Yakubu, remain valid and substantive staff of AMML”.

Recall that secretary/legal adviser of AMML, Onya Nsor Ojiji, issued a statement in November saying there was no extant order from the National Industrial Court against the minister or any member of staff of AMML.

According to him, there is only case pending in the National Industrial Court, which was scheduled to start afresh and the suit has been reassigned to another judge.

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