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Court Strikes Out Obanikoro’ s Fundamental Rights Enforcement Suit


Former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, has lost out in the N100m fundamental human rights enforcement suit he and his family instituted against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as a Lagos High Court struck out the suit on Monday.
In a ruling, Justice Abdulaziz Anka struck out Obanikoro’s suit for being incompetent.
Obanikoro, his wives, Fati and Moroophat, and his sons, Gbolahon and Babajide, had sued the anti-graft agency for what they termed an unlawful invasion of their houses and seizure of some of their properties.
They had, through their lawyer, Lawal Pedro (SAN), urged the court to declare as null and void the items seized from their houses on June 14, 2016 by the EFCC.
They also prayed the court to award N100m damages against the EFCC in their favour for the violation of their rights to privacy.
But the EFCC lawyer, E.E. Iheanacho, raised preliminary objection to the suit, arguing that “since the main claim of the applicants was founded on tort, their principal reliefs are not maintainable under the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules, 2009.”
The Judge upheld the EFCC’s preliminary objection.
The Judge 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.
Justice Anka 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 case against the Obanikoros.

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