Former Minister Fights Back,Sues EFCC For N100 Million

Former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro
Former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro

Former Minister of State for Defence Musiliu Obanikoro and his family have dragged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, before the Federal High Court in Lagos for alleged unlawful seizure of their property.

The former minister and his family want the court to declare that the forceful seizure of their personal effects since June 2016, was a gross violation of their fundamental human rights.

The applicants are demanding an “unreserved public apology”, as well as N100 million as general damages from EFCC.

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Obanikoro’s family also want the court to issue a restriction order to prevent the EFCC from arresting, detaining or harassing them or entering their premises again to seize their properties.

The other applicants in the suit include Obanikoro’s wife Moroophat, his sons Gbolahon, Babajide and wife Fati.

Obanikoro, a former Lagos State governorship aspirant, is currently facing a corruption trial, having been accused by the EFCC of receiving payments from the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, through companies linked to the family.

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In one of the charges, the anti-graft agency said that the sum of $1,018,000 was transferred from the ONSA to Mob Integrated Services, a company believed to be owned by Obanikoro, on March 18, 2015.

But counsel to the Obanikoros, Lawal Pedro, SAN, noted that the documents and properties which the EFCC seized “have nothing to do with the ONSA.”

He said that the commission violated Regulation 13 of the EFCC Act which provides that it shall apply and obtain a court order to enter and search any premises.

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However, the EFCC has asked the court to dismiss the suit, insisting that its actions were in accordance to the law.

Justice Abdulazeez Anka adjourned the case till March 28 for ruling.