Musiliu Obanikoro’s N100m fundamental rights enforcement suit filed against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, has been struck out by a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.
The former Minister of State for Defence, his wives, Fati and Moroophat, and his sons, Gbolahon and Babajide, had sued the anti-graft agency for what they termed an unlawful invasion of their houses and seizure of some of their properties.
The family through their lawyer, Mr. Lawal Pedro (SAN), urged the court to declare as null and void the items seized from their houses on June 14, 2016 by the EFCC.
The Obanikoro family also prayed the court to award N100m damages against the EFCC in their favour for the violation of their rights to privacy.
But in a ruling on Monday, Justice Abdulaziz Anka struck out Obanikoro’s suit for being incompetent.
Anka upheld the preliminary objection by the EFCC lawyer, E.E. Iheanacho, who contended that “since the main claim of the applicants was founded on tort, their principal reliefs are not maintainable under the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules, 2009.”
He noted that the applicants’ houses were searched by the EFCC based on search warrants secured by the anti-graft agency from the Lagos State Magistrates’ Court.
Anka said he could not declare the recovered items as null and void, so as not to foreclose the possibility of the EFCC tendering them as exhibits in imminent criminal case against the Obanikoros.