A Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos will on March 28, rule on whether the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), violated the fundamental rights of Senator Musiliu Obanikoro and other members of his family when it searched and seized some documents and property from his house.
The family’s lawyer, Lawal Pedro (SAN), said the Obanikoros contended that the EFCC violated its own law, 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.
Having failed to follow this procedure and obtain any court order, the Obanikoros contended that the search is unlawful and illegal.
The EFCC has however urged the court to dismiss the suit, insisting that it acted within the law.
In the Fundamental Rights Enforcement application filed on behalf of the Obanikoros by Fati Obanikoro, a daughter in-law to the Senator, the victims claimed that the forceful seizure of their personal effects constitutes a gross violation of their rights to privacy and fundamental right from compulsory possession or acquisition of move-able property.
They therefore asked the court to make an order setting aside the forceful detention of their properties last June 14.
The Obanikoros also sought an order restraining the EFCC from arresting, detaining or harassing them or entering their premises again to seize their properties.
They further demanded an “unreserved public apology”, as well as 100 million Naira as general damages.
The EFCC had claimed that Senator Obanikoro received suspicious payments from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), through companies linked to the family.
Meanwhile, the family said the documents and properties EFCC seized have nothing to do with the ONSA.