Tuesday, April 25, 2017 8:58 am
The N100 million suit filed by Senator Musiliu Obanikoro and his family against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged seizure of his property filed before a Federal High Court,in Lagos, south west Nigeria Monday suffered a setback, as the suit was struck out for lack of merit.
Senator Obanikoro alongside his wife, Alhaja Moroophat, his two sons, Gbolahan, Babajide and Fati, Babajide’s wife, had sued the anti-graft agency for breach of their fundamental rights.
The applicants had urged the court to declare that the forceful seizure of their personal effects by the anti graft Agency constitutes a gross violation of their rights. Consequently, they prayed the court for an order setting aside the forceful take over of their properties during a raid on June 14,2016,therefore demanded an “unreserved public apology”, as well as N100 million as general damages from EFCC.
They also sought for an order restraining EFCC from arresting, detaining or harassing them or entering their premises again to seize their properties.
However, the EFCC in a preliminary objection filed and argued by E. E. Iheanancho, stated that Obanikoro received suspicious payments from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) through companies linked to the family.
For instance, the commission said $1,018,000 was transferred from the ONSA to Mob Integrated Services on March 18, 2015.
But, the family, through their lawyer Lawal Pedro (SAN) had imformed the court that the said documents and properties that EFCC seized “have nothing to do with the ONSA.”
Obanikoros had claimed that the EFCC violated Regulation 13 of the EFCC (Enforcement Regulation) 2010, which provides that it shall apply and obtain a court order to enter and search any premises.
However, the EFCC while urging the court to dismiss the applicants Suit said it acted within the confine of the law.
Justice AbdulAziz Anka, while striking out Obanikoros’ suit, said the application lacked judicial procedure and incompetent.
The judge also ruled that the seizure of said property was to enable the Commission to prosecute a criminal case against the applicants . Adding that if the claimants decide to make a case of breach of Rights they can do so during the Criminal trial.