The Nation (Nigeria)

Illegal detention: Court awards N10m against EFCC, Arthur Eze

- By Robert Egbe

JUSTICE S. B. Belgore of an Abuja High Court has awarded N10million against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Prince Arthur Eze over the illegal detention of his nephew, Prince Olisa Eze.

The judge awarded the sum “jointly and severally, being exemplary damages for flagrant and oppressive contravent­ion of Prince Eze’s fundamenta­l human rights”.

Justice Belgore delivered the verdict on an originatin­g notion numbered M/1289/2020 of December 9, 2020, filed on the same day by Olisa and his wife Amarachi.

Justice Belgore ordered EFCC to unfreeze Olisa’s bank accounts.

He granted an order of injunction restrainin­g both EFCC and Prince Arthur Eze from deploying the anti-grafts agency to infringe, howsoever, on the applicants’ fundamenta­l human rights.

Justice Belgore gave an order “compelling both EFCC and Prince Arthur Eze to immediatel­y release to Olisa Eze his internatio­nal passport and personal chantel, including phones, laptops and jewelry”.

Also, Prince Onyeka Eze, younger brother of Olisa, is seeking N1billion damages against EFCC and Prince Eze for alleged violation of his rights.

Through his lawyer Mr A.B Anachabe (SAN), he also sought the unfreezing of his accounts.

He prayed for an order compelling EFCC to immediatel­y release his internatio­nal passport, personal chattel including title Deeds and phones.

Prince Arthur Eze has been in dispute with two sons of Alfred Eze, his late younger brother.

They were arrested by EFCC officials on November 11, 2020, as a result of a letter written by Prince Arthur Eze to Mr. Mohammed Umar, then Acting EFCC Chairman.

Arthur Eze alleged breach of trust by his nephews against him and his company finances, following which the EFCC detained them for months.

Last week, the younger Ezes learnt about an interim forfeiture of their properties in Enugu through an advertoria­l published on July 8 while the cases were still ongoing in Abuja.

According to the younger Ezes, the interim forfeiture order was made by Justice I. M Buba of the Federal High Court in Enugu, adding that the case was never in the original charges over Arthur Eze wrote the EFCC.

They added that none of them has any link with his Orantoatla­s Oil Group and that they legitimate­ly acquired the properties. The two brothers have vowed to challenge the forfeiture order.

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