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EFCC WANTED LIST: Emefiele’s Wife Wins Against EFCC As Court Awards N3million Damages In Her Favour

EFCC WANTED LIST: Emefiele’s Wife Wins Against EFCC As Court Awards N3million Damages In Her Favour—A federal high court in Lagos has faulted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for declaring Margaret, wife of Godwin Emefiele, wanted.

Ruling on Margaret’s fundamental rights suit on Friday, Deinde Dipeolu, presiding judge, ordered the EFCC to pay her N3 million as damages for the infringement of her rights.

In February, EFCC declared Margaret wanted for alleged money laundering.

The anti-graft agency published photos and details of Margaret and three others on its website and social media pages

The three other persons were identified as Eric Ocheme Odoh, Anita Joy Omoile, and Jonathan Omoile.

In the notice signed by Dele Oyewale, the agency’s head of media and publicity, EFCC said the quartet allegedly colluded with the former CBN governor to divert “huge sums” from federal government coffers.

 

Aggrieved, Margaret sued the anti-graft agency and its chairman for declaring her a wanted person and publishing her photograph on its website without any valid court order.

 

She also prayed the court to order the EFCC to remove her name and photograph from the wanted persons’ list and to apologise to her for the alleged rights infringement in two national television stations and three newspapers.

In his judgment, Dipeolu agreed that it was illegal for the EFCC to have published Margaret’s name and photograph as a wanted person without complying with the provisions of Sections 41 and 42 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015 and without any valid charge and/or a court order to that effect.

“That the Applicant is entitled to the protection of her fundamental rights to life, personal liberty, right to dignity of her person, freedom of movement and right to security as guaranteed under Sections 33, 34, 35 and 41 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended),” the judge ruled.

 

“And Articles 4, 5, 6 and 12 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (CAP A9) VOL.1 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2011.

“That the publication of the Applicant’s name and photograph on the website of the Respondent as having been declared “WANTED” without complying with the provisions of Sections 41 and 42 of the ACJA, and without any valid Charge and/or Court Order to that effect, amounts to a violation of the Applicant’s fundamental rights to the dignity of her person, right to personal liberty, freedom of movement and right to security.

“As guaranteed under Sections 34, 35 and 41 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and Articles 5, 6 and 12 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (CAP A9) VOL.1 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2011.

 

“The respondent is directed to immediately withdraw the publication of the applicant’s name and photographs from the list of persons wanted by the respondents on its website.

“The respondents are directed to issue a public apology to the applicant on its website where the name and photographs of the applicant were published among the list of persons wanted.

“The sum of N3 million is awarded against the respondents jointly and severally in favour of the applicant for the violation of her fundamental rights.”

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