BY GABRIEL ENOGHOLASE
BENIN—A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, has restrained the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC, the Inspector-General of Police and Department of State Services, DSS, from arresting a retired judge of the court, Justice Gladys Olotu.
Trial judge, Justice A. Ademola, who granted an ex-parte application by the applicant, directed the respondents to stay all actions on matters relating to or connected with the facts of the case before the court, particularly inviting, interrogating, harassing, arresting or detaining her, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive application.
Olutu, in the suit, is praying the court to declare that threat of victimisation, harassment, intimidation, arrest and detention by the respondents, using the machineries of all or any of the other respondents, is vindictive, malicious, unwarranted, unreasonable and a gross violation of her fundamental rights as protected under Section 35 of the 1999 constitution.
Respondents in the suit are the EFCC; ICPC; IG; DSS; Code of Conduct Bureau; Centre for NetWork Against Corruption; Attorney General of the Federation and Minister for Justice; National Judicial Council; Justice Alfer Belgore and Chief Gabriel Igbinedion.
Others are Ponticelli Nig. Ltd, Stolt Offshore Services S.A, The Vessel M.V. THEO, the owners of the vessel, M.V.THEO. ELF Nig. Petroleum Nig. Ltd. ABC Maritime AG, The Vessel MV LARA and the Vessel MV Krysia.
She is also claiming the sum of N5 billion as exemplary damages against the respondents.
Olutu, through her counsel, Chief Okey Obikeze, also wants the court to declare that her arrest, interrogation and detention by EFCC in Abuja, from about 10 a.m., to 4p.m., on March 18, 2014, was unreasonable, unwarranted, vindictive, arbitrary and amounted to a flagrant infringement of her fundamental right to liberty, as enshrined under Section 35 of the 1999 constitution.
She also wants the court to declare that the resort to the use of the offices of the EFCC, ICPC, DSS, IG or any other agencies/agents of the Federal Government to pursue, intimidate, harass, victimise, arrest and or detain her, on account of her seeking redress at the Federal High Court, Abuja, by way of the prerogative orders of Certiorari and prohibition against the said AGF, NJC and four others in suit No, FHC/ABJ/C5/169/2014, for the reasons contained in the said action, is wrongful, illegal, unconstitutional and a breach of her rights to fair hearing under Section 36 of the 1999 constitution, as amended.