A Federal high court judge, sitting at the Lagos division of the court in south west Nigeria, Ofili Ajumogobia, has on Friday handed off the fundamental human right enforcement suit filed before the court by, Mrs. Timi Beauty Akpobolokemi, the wife of the embattled former Director General of Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Patrick Akpolobokemi(pictured) against Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC.
When the case was mentioned and Dr Joseph Nwobike announced his appearance for the applicants, and Uchenna Moneke announced his appearance for EFCC, Justice Ajumogobia said “for personal reasons she was handing off the case consequently, the case file will be return to the chief Judge for re-assignment.”
Co-applicants alongside Mrs. Akpobolokemi are, Clement Akpobolokemi, Stephen Akpobolokemi, Julius Akpobolokemi, Victor Akpobolokemi who are biological brothers of the former NIMASA boss.
In an affidavit sworn to by Stephen Akpobolokemi and filed before the court by Dr Joseph Nwobike, the Deponent averred that, on 31st July,2015, fully armed operative of EFCC numbering about 25 stormed the residence of the former NIMASA boss at 6, Ondo Street, Banana Island, Lagos State, on account of EFCC’s investigations into the stewardship of Dr Patick Akpobolokemi during his tenure as the Director General of NIMASA.
Mr. Stephen Akpobolokemi averred further that without any search warrant, the EFCC operatives harassed them and coerced Mrs. Akpobolokemi to write incriminating statement against her husband on account of his stewardship and without the order of the court, blocked the woman’s account maintained at United Bank for Africa Plc while she was invited by the agency to report at their office on 5th November,2015, a woman that has never been a staff of NIMASA and has never impeded the investigation of her husband.
The four brothers also alleged that they have been under constant threats of arrest and detention by EFCC on the account of being the brothers of Dr Patrick Akpobolokemi, while Julius Akpobolokemi’s bank accounts domiciled with Ecobank Plc and Diamond bank Plc have been frozen, and that of Victor Akpolobokemi’s account maintained with First bank of Nigeria was also frozen.
Mr. Stephen also contended that by the actions of the anti-graft agency their fundamental right to liberty have been breached.
Consequently, the applicants while claiming damages in the sum of N100Million against the EFCC for the irreparable emotional, and psychological damages jointly and severally suffered are urging the court to declare that the harassment and intimidation and the threat of their arrest, and detention on account of their affinity with Dr Patrick Akpolokemi are unconstitutional, illegal and unlawful.
Two of the applicants whose accounts have been frozen are also urging the court to declare the frozen of their account illegal while the court should also unfreeze the said accounts.