by Dolapo Adelana
A former minister of state for defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, has sued the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for the seizure of his property.
He filed the suit on Wednesday through his lawyer, Lawal Pedro (SAN) at the Federal High Court in Lagos.
The applicants in the suit include Obanokoro’s wife, Moroophat, his sons Gbolahon, Babajide and his wife Fati.
They are praying the court to set aside the forceful detention of their properties on June 14, 2016, as it constitutes a gross violation of their rights.
They are demanding an “unreserved public apology”, as well as N100m as general damages against the commission.
The applicants are also seeking a restraining order barring the EFCC from arresting, detaining or harassing them or entering their premises again to seize their properties.
The EFCC had alleged that during his time as minister, Obanikoro received suspicious payments from the Office of the National Security Adviser through companies linked to his family.
The commission said about $1m was transferred from ONSA to Mob Integrated Services on March 18, 2015.
But Pedro, the family’s lawyer said the documents and properties seized by the EFCC had nothing to do with ONSA.
He 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.
The commission told 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.
Dolapo is a writer and journalist who works with YNaija. He has interests in Christianity, politics and sports.