Monday, February 11, 2019 7:08 pm
Thirteen University lecturers on Monday dropped a fundamental right charges against the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) after reaching an agreement in Federal High Court in Jos.
In an application stating the terms of settlement filed through their counsel, Mr Promise Okereke, the lecturers told the President Judge, Justice Musa Kurya, that they have reached an accord with EFCC and so dropped all their prayers in the case they filed on March 27, 2018.
The 13 Lecturers from the University of Jos and Plateau State University (PLASU), Bokkos, had sued the anti-graft agency for flagrant breach of their fundamental right by the arrest, harassment and detention after they took part in 2015 elections.
They prayed the court to order the EFCC to pay them N100 Million as general damages for the breach of their fundamental rights.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that EFCC had arrested, detained and frozen the bank accounts of the lecturers for being paid by INEC with money suspected to have come from a former Petroleum minister, Mrs Aliason Madukwe as money laundry offence.
They alleged that EFCC ordered them to report to Gombe State office of commission whenever they were called upon for questioning on the fraud allegation.
When the case came up for hearing on Monday, the lecturers’ counsel, Okereke told the court that he had an application for terms of settlement between to the two parties.
“My Lord, we are ready to move this application, which both parties have agreed to amicably resolve the matter under some terms which include unfrozen the accounts of the lecturers and for their (Lecturers’) willingness to testify when called upon as witnesses.
“Also, that no criminal charges or otherwise shall be filed against the lecturers nor will they be prosecuted by the agency on account of having being employed by INEC as Ad-hoc staff during 2015 elections and for money received as their pay, ’’ he said.
Okereke said, “by reason of this terms of settlement, the applicants hereby wholly discontinue this action.’’
Responding, Mr I.O. Akondo, EFCC Counsel, affirmed the submission of Okereke and did not object it.
Justice Kurya, in his ruling, said that since the two parties have sat and agreed on the case with terms of agreement, said the application was so hold.
“I have listened to the two parties on the application dated Feb. 5, in the circumstance, I order that the settlement is hereby adopted as final judgement in this case,’’ Kurya declared.