It was another legal victory for the Nyakos as a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to unconditionally unfreeze the accounts of Senator Abdullaziz Nyako and a company linked to him without further delay.
Nengiofori Jumbo, Senator Abdullaziz Nyako and Blue Opal Nigeria Ltd (Applicants) had in June 2015, dragged the EFCC to court over the freezing of their accounts and sealing of the Hillview Estate, Abuja, owned by the Senator.
The suit was filed under the Fundamental Rights Enforcement (Procedure) Rules 2009, made by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, pursuant to section 46(3) of the 1999 constitution as well as sections 36, 43 and 44 of the constitution and Oder 11 Rule 1of the FREP Rules 2009.
Abdullaziz is the son of former Adamawa state governor, Admiral Murtala Nyako (rtd), and presently the Senator representing Adamawa Southern Senatorial District in the National Assembly.
Delivering judgement Thursday, in an originating summon dated 11th June 2015, and marked FHC/ABJ/CS/524/15, Justice Babatunde Quadri held that the action of the EFCC (respondent) amounted to gross violation of the fundamental rights of the applicants.
Consequently, the court declared that the sealing and forfeiture of the applicants property (Hillview Estate) Abuja by the EFCC was “unlawful and oppressive”, as the action of the Federal Government agency violated the applicants fundamental rights as guaranteed under sections 36, 43 and 44 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
“In conclusion, the application has merit, same as hereby granted but with following indications, that is, only reliefs 1, 2, and 3 are expressly granted in toto while as regards reliefs 4,5 and 6 are refused.
“But the commission is hereby ordered to unfreeze the account of the applicants, unconditionally and forthwith.
“The commission having sealed up the premises of the applicants since July 2014 should unseal it forthwith or better still open up the Hillview Estate immediately” Justice Quadri ordered.
Justice Quadri noted that the case is such “where the issue of impertinent abuse of court process and issue estoppel are successfully raised and in my humble view, the order of Honourable Justice Evoh Chukwu (of blessed memory) was given per incurriam due to suppression and misrepresentation by the commission”.
“Based on these two issues, which I have found raised successfully in favour of the applicants herein the interim order of Late Justice Chukwu is hereby set aside and based on abuse of court processes and same issue already dealt with to finality by Justice Gabriel Kolawole (now JCA).