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Obanikoro, wife sue EFCC for N100m over assets forfeiture, detention

By Olaolu Oladipo, Lagos

A former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro alongside members of his family have sued the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before a Federal High Court in Lagos over the seizure and detention of their property.

In the suit, they are seeking a declaration that the forceful seizure of their personal effects constitutes a gross violation of their rights.

The applicants are praying for an order setting aside the forceful detention of their properties last June 14.

As part of their prayers, they are demanding an “unreserved public apology”, as well as N100million as general damages from EFCC.

The Obanikoros also sought an order restraining EFCC from arresting, detaining or harassing them or entering their premises again to seize their properties.

The applicants include Obanikoro’s wife Moroophat, his sons Gbolahan, Babajide and wife Fati.

EFCC claimed Obanikoro received suspicious payments from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) through companies linked to the family.

For instance, the commission said $1,018,000 was transferred from the ONSA to Mob Integrated Services on March 18, 2015.

But, the family, though their lawyer Lawal Pedro (SAN), said the documents and properties EFCC seized “have nothing to do with the ONSA.”

They 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.

However, EFCC has urged the court to dismiss the suit, insisting that it acted within the law.
Justice Abdulazeez Anka adjourned until March 28 for ruling.

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