June 15, 2024

Rights violation: Court slams N10m fine on EFCC, others

A Federal Capital Territory High Court on Monday slammed N10 million fine on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and three others for fundamental rights violation.

Other respondents in the suit are former EFCC boss, Abdulrasheed Bawa, an officer with the agency, Calistus, and Fidelity Bank Plc.

Justice Peter Kekemeke slammed the cost on the respondents when he delivered judgment in a suit filed by Mr Michael Kundera for enforcement of his fundamental rights.

Justice Kekemeke held that the respondents violated the applicant’s fundamental rights by arresting and detaining him from May 15 to May 16, 2023, without charging him to court or releasing him on bail.

He added that a 75-year-old man should not be subjected to such treatment.

“I hereby declare that the arrest and detention of the applicant from May 15 to May 16, 2023, was unlawful and violated the applicant’s fundamental rights.

“The harassment of the applicant in a matter already decided by the court is a violation of his right, and the 1st to 3rd respondents exceeded their bounds.

“The case of the applicant succeeds, and the respondents are ordered to pay the sum of N10 million severally or jointly to the applicant for violation of his fundamental rights, ” he held.

The judge also ordered the respondents to pay the sum of N2 million as cost for the action.

Kundera through his counsel, Dr O. Orji, in suit no CV/6258/23, told the court that he was invited, detained, and refused administrative bail in a matter decided already by an FCT High Court.

He said that the subject matter was a plot of land at the foreign affairs quarters which lawfully belonged to him.

According to the applicant’s counsel, the matter is also pending at the Court of Appeal in a suit marked CA/ABJ/CV/533/2021.

Orji told the court that the applicant was 75 years of age and did not find it funny being dragged about even when the judgment of the court was shown to the respondents.

The lawyer therefore prayed for the order of the court to declare that the arrest and detention of the applicant from May 15 and May 16 was unlawful.

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