Obanikoro Files Suit Challenging Property Seizure by EFCC

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Davidson Iriekpen
A former Minister of State of Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, has sued the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at the Federal High Court in Lagos over the seizure and detention of his property.

Obanikoro and his family are seeking a court’s declaration that the forceful seizure of their personal effects constitutes a gross violation of their rights.

The applicants include Obanikoro’s wife, Moroophat; his sons, Gbolahon, Babajide and wife, Fati.
The applicants are praying the court for an order, setting aside the forceful detention of their properties on June 14, 2016.

They are demanding an “unreserved public apology,” as well as N100million as general damages against the commission.
The applicants also seeks an order restraining the EFCC from arresting, detaining or harassing them or entering their premises again to seize their property.

EFCC claimed 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 about $1 million was transferred from the ONSA to Mob Integrated Services on March 18, 2015.

But the family, though their lawyer, Mr. Lawal Pedro (SAN), said the documents and properties seized by the EFCC had nothing to do with the ONSA.

They claimed that the commission 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, EFCC has urged the court to dismiss the suit, insisting that it acted in accordance with the provisions of the law.
Justice Abdulazeez Anka has fixed March 28 for ruling.