Kwara State High Court of Hon. Justice Hammed Gegele sitting in Ilorin on Friday 1st of November 2019 dismissed the one billion naira fundamental human rights suit filed by the former General Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association, Ilorin Branch, Sulyman Abaya against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and two others.
The EFCC had on the 27th of August 2019 arrested Barrister Abaya and two other Lawyers for allegedly conspiring to defraud a Pastor, Adetunji Adedoyin of his property valued at about twenty million naira.
The applicant after his release filed the suit against the Commission, Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr Wilson Uwujaren and the Petitioner in the matter; Pastor Adetunji Adedoyin, seeking for one billion naira damages and public apology in two National Newspapers.
Delivering Judgment on the Matter on Friday, Justice Gegele dismissed the entire suit and resolved all the issues raised against Abaya.
According to the Judge, there was a reasonable suspicion to have warranted Barrister Abaya’s arrest in view of the fact that the EFCC sufficiently showed that he was linked to the allegations it was investigating. Again, Abaya also copiously revealed through his own sworn affidavit in support that he was well abreast of the allegations leveled against him.
On the alleged infringement of his right, the Court while relying on the EFCC Act, the Police Act, Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Kwara State 2018 and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended, held that the applicant can be arrested without a warrant.
The Court also considered the wordings of the mugshot and held that same did not give impression that Abaya was displayed as being convicted, rather it was in its alleged form. The Court also went further to hold that the information contained in the website of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is in line of its statutory duties.
The Judge before considering the main issues raised, considered the preliminary objection raised by parties and on the first hand permitted the use of processes filed on behalf of Mr. Wilson Uwujaren and subsequently went ahead to struck out his name from the suit as a disclosed principal was already before it and no allegation was disclosed against him ”
Justice Gegele while dismissing the suit also refused Abaya’s prayers seeking for perpetual injunctions against the EFCC as well as the mandatory injunctions sought.