By Henry Ojelu
A High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to pay the Chairman of Nigerian Bar Association Section on Public Interest and Development Law, NBA-SPIDEL, Dr. Monday Ubani 12million over his illegal arrest and detention for 20 days in 2019.
Ubani was arrested and detained by the EFCC on March 19, 2019, along with Senator Christopher Enai, for failing to produce the former Managing Director of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, NSITF, Mrs. Ngozi Olejeme, who they both stood for as sureties.
Ubani had maintained his innocence over Olejeme’s disappearance, insisting that she absconded after the EFCC raided her home. He also stated that his decision to stand surety for Olejeme was because he compelled her to return to Nigeria to face the charges against her and all effort to secure her bail was frustrated by the EFCC.
Despite Ubani’s explanation, the EFCC arrested and detained him for 20 days. He subsequently filed an action before the FCT High Court seeking N5billion exemplary and aggravated damages for the violation of his rights.
Delivering judgment in the suit on Wednesday, Justice Sylvanus Oriji declared Ubani’s arrest and subsequent detention for 20 days was illegal and a violation of his right. The judge further ordered the EFCC to pay Ubani 12million as damages.
The judge, however, refused to order that EFCC to offer a public apology for the illegal detention.