A former Nigeria High Commissioner to Ghana and Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, has demanded N100m from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for demages.
Obanikoro who made this demand before a Federal High Court in Lagos said his fundamental human rights has been breached by the invasion of his homes in Lagos on Tuesday.
The EFCC had on Tuesday stormed Obanikoro’s residence in Lagos.
Also searched was a property said to belong to Obanikoro’s eldest son, Babajide, where officials carted away vehicles and other valuables in a raid that lasted several hours.
The properties are located at Parkview Estate and Onikoyi Drive, both in the Lagos highbrow suburb of Ikoyi.
Obanikoro is seeking the sum of N100m as general damages for the alleged unlawful and unconstitutional forceful seizure, detention and/or freezing of several items, properties and personal effects belonging to him and members of his family by the EFCC on June 14, 2016.
Other applicants in the suit are Mrs. Fati Obanikoro, Alhaja Moroophat Obanikoro, Gbolahan Obanikoro and Babajide Obanikoro.
In the suit, filed on his behalf by his lawyer, Chief Ogwu Onoja (SAN), also asked the court to restrain the Respondent, EFCC, whether by its officers, servants, privies, assigns or agents from arresting/detaining, harassing any of the applicants or their relatives pending the hearing and determination of the suit.
Onoja argued in the affidavit that “the seizure and detention of the applicants’ several items, properties and personal effects, constitute a gross violation of their fundamental rights guaranteed under Section 43 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Article 14 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights Act, Cap. 10, LFN, 2004.
“The seizure and continued detention of the applicants’ several items, properties and personal effects, are neither known to any law nor permitted by any law or procedure and, therefore, not justified.”
No date has been fixed for hearing of the suit, which is yet to be assigned to a Judge.
Obanikoro and his two sons, Jide and Gbolahan, were not in the country when the properties were raided. But they vowed to challenge the actions of the government within and outside the country.
Officials of EFCC accused the family of looting up to N4.7 billion in public funds, allegedly using shoddy companies and other proxies to perpetrate the act.