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Thursday , 17 August 2017

EFCC to Pay N12.5 m Fine Over Nyako’s Case

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered the EFCC, to deposit N12.5 million imposed on it for infringing on the fundamental human rights of Abdulaziz Nyako.

Justice Gabriel Kolawale, who made the order on Tuesday in Abuja, said the fine should be deposited with the Chief Registrar of the court.

N12.5 million was imposed on the EFCC as a fine for arresting and detaining the senator for three days.

 It was also imposed on the agency for freezing all of Nyako’s bank accounts for over two years without a court order, or charging him to court.

The fine was part of the judgment delivered by the court on June 22, 2016 in favour of Nyako.

Ruling on an application by the EFCC for stay of execution of the judgment, Justice Kolawale struck out the application saying it lacked in merit.

Justice Kolawole said that no substantial reason was placed before the court to enable it use its discretion in favour of the anti-graft agency and stay the judgment.

He disagreed with the argument of the EFCC that it would not be able to function if it paid the fine, adding that the argument was based on sentiments and not on law.

 Agreeing with the arguments of Nyako, He ordered that the EFCC, should within 30 days, issue a bank draft in the sum of N12.5 million in the name of the Chief Registrar of the Federal High Court.

“The registrar shall open an interest yielding account in a reputable bank of his choice with the draft,” Kolawale said.

In the alternative, the court ordered the anti-graft agency to provide a bank guarantee of N12.5 million.

He said that in the event that the EFCC failed to deposit the bank draft within 30 days, the respondents shall have the right to apply for garnishee order nisi.

A garnishee order nisi is to allow Nyako withdraw directly from EFCC’s account with the CBN.

The EFCC had in an application praying for stay of execution of the judgment, complained that it would not be able to undertake its statutory functions if the N12.5 million fine was paid to the senator.

The anti-graft agency also informed the court that it had filed a notice of appeal in respect to the judgment of the Federal High Court.

The agency said it would be in the interest of justice to delay the payment, pending the decision of the Court of Appeal on the issue.

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