How anti-graft crusade can succeed, by Okowa
A former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, has sued the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at the Federal High Court, Lagos over the seizure and detention of his property.
The ex-minister and his family are seeking a court’s declaration that the forceful seizure of their personal effects constitutes a gross violation of their rights.
The applicants include Obanikoro’s wife Moroophat, his sons Gbolahon, Babajide and wife Fati. The applicants are praying the court for an order, setting aside the forceful detention of their properties on June 14, 2016.
They are demanding an “unreserved public apology”, as well as N100 million as general damages against the Commission. The applicants are also seeking an order restraining the EFCC from arresting, detaining or harassing them or entering their premises again to seize their properties.
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 that about $1million was transferred from the ONSA to Mob Integrated Services on March 18, 2015. But, the family, through their counsel, Mr. Lawal Pedro (SAN), said the documents and properties seized by the EFCC had 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 in accordance with the provisions of the law. Justice Abdulazeez Anka has fixed March 28 for ruling.
Meanwhile, Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, has advised that for the ongoing Federal Government crusade on graft to be more effective, it should be free from all social, religious and political persuasions,
At an anti corruption summit in Asaba yesterday, Okowa noted that corruption is one of the most recurring discourses in the nation because, virtually every Nigerian agrees that it undermines the fabric of every aspect of our society.
Okowa called for the restructuring of the value system and for Nigerians so as to cultivate and imbibe the culture of selflessness in rendering services, especially in public offices.
Presently, he said that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC), the Code of Conduct Bureau and the Code of Conduct
Tribunal, are in the forefront of the fight against corruption. According to him, greater success will be recorded in the crusade against corruption if the actions and practices of Nigerians are blind to all social, religious and political influences, insisting people’s actions must be civil and be such that engineers public confidence and participation if the battle is to be won.
He tasked Nigerians on the need to learn to service our needs and avoid the path of feeding our greed