A Federal Capital Territory High Court, Maitama, today, September 8, 2017 dismissed a fundamental human right enforcement procedure act brought against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, by a purported importer of cars, Olalekan Olakehinde, seeking N500 million in damages, after the EFCC seized 17 vehicles believed to be proceeds of illicit activities.

The said vehicles had been traced to Liman Kantigi, a former Commissioner for Local Government in Niger State, who is also a former governorship aspirant.

They were suspected to be illegally acquired. About N6 billion was also traced to him, which he could not account for. While Kantigi is yet to honour the invitation of the EFCC, the anti-graft agency has already secured an interim forfeiture order of the account where the money is domiciled. The order remains valid as it has not been vacated.

Like Kantigi, Olakehinde has also wilfully refused to honour invitations by the EFCC, but instead instituted the fundamental human right enforcement procedure action against the EFCC. Investigations had revealed that, in spite of his claim to being the Chairman of AY Emirate Motors Limited, he was in fact, a front for Kantigi.

Olakehinde had through his counsel, Aliyu Umar, SAN, approached the court, with a 23 paragraph affidavit, dated June 13, 2017 seeking for seven prayers. Specifically, he urged the court to “award damages against the EFCC in the sum of N500 million”, and asked for “an order or perpetual injunction” against the EFCC.

Aliyu Bokani, counsel for the EFCC, filed a 227 paragraph counter-affidavit in opposition to the applicant’s motion on notice, arguing that Olakehinde benefited from illegal activities and suspicious transactions, running into millions of naira, which prompted an investigation of his business dealings.

“The said AY Emirate Motors Limited was registered in 2015, while the illicit transfer of over N80 million from a company linked to Kantigi was carried out in 2014 into Olakehinde’s personal account and not that of AY Emirate Motors,” Bokani said.

He further explained that: “Investigations revealed that the said money were transferred before the incorporation of AY Emirate Motors Limited.”

Justice Halilu Yusuf, a vacation judge, who presided over the matter, in his judgement, noted that “Olakehinde instituted the suit so that he will not honour the invitation.”

“I therefore dismiss the suit in its entirety,” the trial judge held.

Meanwhile, the EFCC will soon secure the final forfeiture of the seized proceeds of crime.

Media & Publicity
8th September, 2017