By Eric Ikhilae, Abuja
A citizen of Niger Republic and businessman, Hima Aboubakar has faulted the decision by the Economic and Financial (EFCC) to declare him wanted in relation to his alleged complicity in the purported arms purchase fraud.
The EFCC, about two months ago, declared Aboubakar wanted, linking him with offences of alleged criminal conspiracy, contract scam, misappropriation of public fund and money laundering.
The commission in a statement said “the man is accused of engaging in series of fraud to tune of over $394 million, £9.9m and N369m.”
The EFCC alleged that Aboubakar, the Chief Executive Officer of Societe D`Equipment Internationaux (SEI), received the funds for the purchase of equipment for the Nigerian military and that “investigations have revealed discrepancies in the supply of the equipment.”
But, in a letter by his lawyer, Kayode Ajulo, Aboubakar denied the allegations and faulted a judgment the EFCC claimed to have obtained from a Federal High Court in Abuja, authorising it to seize his property known as Plot. No. I506, Cadastral Zone, A06, Maitama, Abuja.
In the later, dated September 3, 2020 and addressed to the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Aboubakar said the court order, on which the commission relied, cannot be executed.
Aboubakar argued that the said order was obtained from a court without competent jurisdiction and stated that he has already filed, before the court, a notice of stay of execution of the order.
He said the commission secured the order without giving him any notice of the pendency of the case in court.
Aboubakar said, sometime in early August 2020, he received a call from an anonymous caller that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had sealed his properties and frozen his monies in the bank.
The businessman said he was not served any order of the court for him to show cause why the properties and monies in the accounts should not be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Aboubakar said could not visit Nigeria from Niger Republic owing to the coronavirus challenge, which led to the death of several persons and the total lockdown of countries borders and airspace, to defend the action against his properties.
He stated that the officers of the EFCC, who made the application, had at various times travelled to Niger Republic to visit him and are conscious of the fact that he is not a Nigerian and is not resident in this country.
Aboubakar argued that the judgment of the Federal High Court cannot be executed in any manner whatsoever against his client pending the determination of the motion he filed.
”In my considered view, it would amount to an effrontery for a party or court to proceed with the execution of judgment knowing full well that a motion for stay regarding that judgment is pending in court.
”The essence of an order for stay of execution is to maintain the status quo before the order and prevent the successful party from insisting on his adjudged rights by invocation of the coercive jurisdiction of the courts in a process of execution.”