A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to pay the sum of 12.5 million naira to Senator Abdul-Aziz Nyako for freezing his bank account without a valid court order. Justice Gabriel Kolawole made the order while delivering a judgment on a fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by the Senator challenging the EFCC’s right to freeze his account since July 7, 2014.
While delivering judgment on the suit filed by the Senator, demanding 10 million naira compensation from the EFCC for the alleged offence, Justice Gabriel Kolawole did not mince words as he reprimanded the anti-graft agency for carrying out actions outside its statutory powers. The judge held that the EFCC lacks the power to freeze the suspect’s bank accounts without obtaining court order and consequently made an order for the commission to pay 12.5 million naira to serve as a warning.
Justice Kolawole also faulted the remand order often obtained from the Magistrate Courts by the EFCC to detain their suspects beyond the 48 hours that is constitutionally allowed. Senator Nyako along with his father who served as former Governor of Adamawa state and others are being prosecuted by the EFCC at the Federal High Court Abuja for an alleged money laundering to the tune of 29 billion naira belonging to the state.