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Declaring Emefiele’s Wife Wanted Illegal - Court Rules

Posted by Thandiubani on Tue 02nd Jul, 2024 - tori.ng

Justice Deinde Dipeolu made the declaration while ruling on a fundamental right application filed by Mrs Emefiele.

 
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ruled against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
 
The court ruled that EFCC erred by declaring Magaret, the wife of the former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele a wanted person.
 
Justice Deinde Dipeolu made the declaration while ruling on a fundamental right application filed by Mrs Emefiele.
 
The court also ordered the EFCC to pay her N3 million as damages for the infringement of her rights.
 
Mrs.Emefiele had dragged the anti-graft agency and its chairman before the court for declaring her a wanted person and publishing her photographs on its website without any valid court order.
 
In the suit, she asked the court to among other things, hold that the decision by the EFCC to add her name to its wanted persons list without any valid charge and or court order, amounted to a violation of her fundamental human right.
 
She also urged the court to order the EFCC to remove her name and photograph from the wanted persons’ list on its website and to apologise to her for the alleged rights infringement in two national television stations and three newspapers.
 
In the judgment which was delivered last week Friday, Justice Dipeolu agreed that it was illegal for the EFCC to have published the name and photograph of Mrs Emefiele on its website as a wanted person without complying with the provisions of Sections 41 and 42 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, (ACJA) 2015 and without any valid charge and/or a court order to that effect.
 
After listening to the arguments of the applicant and the EFCC legal team, Justice Dipeolu held:
 
“I grant in favour of the Applicant as follows: “That the Applicant is entitled to the protection of her fundamental rights to life, personal liberty, right to dignity of her person, freedom of movement and right to security as guaranteed under Sections 33, 34, 35 and 41 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and Articles 4, 5, 6 and 12 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (CAP A9) VOL.1 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2011.
 
“That the publication of the Applicant’s name and photograph on the website of the Respondent as having been declared “WANTED” without complying with the provisions of Sections 41 and 42 of the ACJA, and without any valid Charge and/or Court Order to that effect, amounts to a violation of the Applicant’s fundamental rights to the dignity of her person, right to personal liberty, freedom of movement and right to security as guaranteed under Sections 34, 35 and 41 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and Articles 5, 6 and 12 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (CAP A9) VOL.1 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2011.
 
“The Respondent is directed to immediately withdraw the publication of the Applicant’s name and photographs from the fist of persons wanted by the Respondents on its website.
 
“The respondents is directed to issue a public apology to the Applicant on its website where the name and photographs of the applicant was published among list of persons wanted.
 
“The sum of N3 million is awarded against the Respondents jointly and severally in favour of the applicant for the violation of her Fundamental Rights.”


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