EFCC denies invading businessman’s residence

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By SundiataPOST, Abuja

Whatapp NewsTelegram News

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday prayed an FCT High Court to dismiss a suit filed by a 70-year-old businessman, Mr Kingsley Uche-Mba.

Uche-Mba accused the anti-graft agency of invading his house  on Aug. 31, to arrest him.

He prayed the court to restrain the EFCC from further harassing him and to enforce his fundamental right.

Counsel to the EFCC, Mrs Msuur Denga, in her submission before the court, denied the plaintiff’s claims, saying that the EFCC never invited, arrested or threatened the plaintiff as alleged by him.

The plaintiff’s claims, she said, were untrue and mere speculations which were unknown to her client.

“The first respondent as a fact is not in any way whatsoever investigating the applicant (plaintiff) and is not in receipt of any petition or complaint against him.

“We urge my lord to dismiss the case against the first  respondent as same is speculative and devoid of substance.

“My lord should refuse all the reliefs sought by the applicant and dismiss the entire application for lack of merit and hold that the applicant has not made out a case to entitle him to the reliefs sought,’’ Denga said.

Earlier, Justice Angela Otaluka had struck out a motion filed by Mba’s counsel, Mr Shaka Awaliene, urging the court to serve the second respondent in the suit by “substituted means’’.

Otaluka had insisted that the plaintiff’s counsel should serve him in person as the case bordered on the enforcement of fundamental human right.

She then adjourned the case to Jan. 21, 2014 to enable the plaintiff’s counsel to effect personal service on Mr Nicholas Elechi, (second respondent) and for the parties to return to court for continuation of hearing.

It will be recalled that Mba, an oil magnate, who lives at No. 213, Cadastral Layout, Jikwoyi Phase 1, Abuja had joined Elechi, a lawyer in the suit.

Awaliene, his counsel said that operatives of the EFCC on Elechi’s instigation, forced their way into his client’s apartment at about 5.40 a.m. on Aug. 31, without a court warrant.

He said that the operatives entered his client’s residence with sophisticated weapons and handcuffs with the intent to arrest him while he was away in his village.

He added that the operatives harassed the wife and daughter of his client.

Awaliene said that when his client contacted Elechi, who led the operatives to his house, he (Elechi) claimed the plaintiff benefited from a land transaction in Dec.  2011, for which he must refund N2.5 million.

He said that one of the operatives told his client’s son to tell his father to pay the said amount or risk being arrested and taken to the EFCC Port Harcourt office from where they came.

The plaintiff, therefore, prayed the court to declare the alleged act of the EFCC operatives a violation of his fundamental human right and his right to personal liberty and family life.

“The illegal and forceful entering into the applicant’s premises without warrant, the harassment, threat of arrest and demand for ransom, amount to violation of his right to dignity of human person.

“The action is also tantamount to violation of his personal liberty and right to private and family life as guaranteed under sections 34, 35 and 37 of the 1999 Constitution,’’ Awaliene  said.

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