Court slams N10m on EFCC, others for fundamental right violations 

 A Federal Capital Territory high court, Maitama on Monday slammed N10 million cost on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and three others for fundamental rights violation.

Other respondents were 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.

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 the applicant 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 the applicant.

 According to the applicant’s counsel, the matter is also pending at the court of appeal marked CA/ABJ/CV/533/2021 against the principle of pendente lite.

 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 applicant 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.

 He added that it was unconstitutional and a gross violation of the applicant’s fundamental rights as guaranteed under sections 35 (4)(5) and 36 (1) and (5) of the 1999 constitution as amended.

 “A declaration that the respondents have exceeded their bounds by their continued invitation and threats on the applicant.

 “Order restraining the respondents from continued invitation, threat to re-arrest and detain the applicant.

 ”Payment of the sum of N500 million as exemplary or aggravated damages is unconstitutional, inexplicable, unjust, uncouth, and barbaric contravention of the applicant’s fundamental rights.”

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