A Federal High Court in Port Harcourt has restrained the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from arresting, or detaining contractors and service providers to the Rivers State government.
The court also restrained the EFCC and the Attorney-General of the Federation from inviting and detaining officials of the Rivers State government under the disguise of investigations.Justice Hilary Oshomah delivered the judgement in the suit filed by the Rivers State Attorney-General against the EFCC and AGF.
It further barred the EFCC and AG from interfering with the accounts of the Rivers State government, pending the determination of the substantive suit.
The judge declared that: “An order of interlocutory injunction restraining 1st and 2nd Defendants/Respondents (EFCC/AGF) from inviting, or further inviting, arresting and or detaining the contractors (engaged by the Rivers State government to carry out projects.
“Professionals (including lawyers) or service providers to the Rivers State government who have been paid by the state government, for the purpose of investigating, probing and or interfering in any manner whatsoever with the management of the Rivers State consolidated fund.”
The court also issued an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the 1st and 2nd Defendants from giving any effect, or further effect to the letter dated August 7, 2018, wherein EFCC invited some officials of the Rivers State government on August 20, or any date for that matter.
Justice Oshomah restrained the EFCC and AGF or their agents, servants and privies from retrieving/demanding the Bank Verification Number (BVN) of any officials of the plaintiffs, contractors executing projects, lawyers or vendors who have received payment for the purpose of probing, or interfering with the accounts of the Rivers State government, pending the determination of the substantive suit.
The court further restrained the EFCC and AGF from directing Zenith Bank and Access Bank to furnish them with the bank account details, record books and/or any document for the purpose of probing, investigating, or interfering with the accounts of the Rivers State government until the determination of the substantive suit.
The court held that the preliminary objection dated September 3, 2018 filed by the EFCC against the suit lacked merit.It explained that the Motion on Notice by the Rivers State Attorney-General dated September 24, 2018 was meritorious in its entirety.