A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos yesterday, awarded N12 million against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the illegal arrest and detention of the Administrative Manager of a firm, Rana Prestige Nigeria Industries Limited, Mr Adewale Adeniyi.
Adeniyi had dragged EFCC to court, claiming N30 million as general, exemplary and aggravated damages for the violation of his rights, as well as N10 million as cost of the suit. He argued in the suit that he was arrested without a warrant, which makes it illegal.
The EFCC effected his arrest following a petition by Mrs Rachadatou Abdou, who co-owns the company.
In his ruling on Adeniyi’s fundamental rights enforcement application, Justice Mohammed Idris held that the commission violated the applicant’s rights.
“There is no evidence that there was a preliminary investigation into allegations against him before the arrest.
“No order of court authorizing the arrested was exhibited before the court. The respondents acted irrationally without following due process,” the judge held.
According to the judge, before anyone is validly arrested and detained, there must be preliminary investigation into the allegations against them.
He urged security agencies to exercise restraint at all times and must not be “intoxicated” by the enormous powers they possess.
He held that damages are due the applicant for the trauma he was subjected to while in detention.
The judge awarded N10 million against EFCC, which must also pay N2 million cost. It also awarded N5 million against Mrs Abdou.