Court Strikes Out Obanikoro’s Application Against EFCC
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has struck out a 100 million Naira suit instituted by Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, and his family against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), over allegations of property seizure.
Justice AbdulAziz Anka held that the suit lacked merit.
The Senator, his wife, his two sons, Gbolahan, Babajide and his daughter-in-law, had dragged the EFCC before the judge over allegations bordering on what they considered a breach of their fundamental rights.
Specifically, the plaintiffs had asked Justice Anka to make a declaration that the forceful seizure of their personal effects by the EFCC amounted to a gross violation of their rights.
The judge was equally urged to issue an order, setting aside the forceful detention of their property during a raid on June 14, 2016.
They also made a demand for an “unreserved public apology”, as well as the sum of 100 million Naira as general damages from the anti-graft agency.
The Obanikoros also wanted the court to issue an order restraining the anti-graft agency from arresting, detaining or harassing them or entering their premises again to seize their property.
On their part, the EFCC argued that Senator Obanikoro got suspicious payments from the Office of the National Security Adviser through some companies linked to the family.
The anti-graft agency argued that $1,018,000 was transferred from the office of the NSA to Mob Integrated Services on March 18, 2015.
The family through their counsel, Lawal Pedro (SAN), however told the judge that the said documents and property seized by the EFCC had nothing to do with the office of the NSA.
Justice Anka’s ruling subsequently held that the application of the Obanikoros lacked judicial procedure and was incompetent.
He also noted that the applicants’ houses were searched by the EFCC based on search warrants secured by the anti-graft agency from the Lagos State Magistrates’ Court.
The judge further said he could not declare the recovered items as null and void, so as not to foreclose the possibility of the EFCC tendering them as exhibits in imminent criminal cases against the Obanikoros.
He added that if the claimants decide to make a case of breach of their rights, they could do so during the criminal trial.
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