The Federal Capital Territory High Abuja has awarded the sum of N12 million against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in favour of Dr Monday Ubani for detaining him illegally for over 20 days. Ubani was detained by the anti-graft agency on grounds that one Dr Mrs Ngozi Olejeme, a woman for whom he stood surety, jumped bail.
The court, presided over by Justice Sylvanus Oriji, was of the view that the detention infringed on the right of Dr Ubani and therefore entitled to the reliefs he sought.
Justice Oriji declared Ubani’s detention illegal. Instead of the sum of N5 billion the lawyer sought, the court awarded him the sum of N12 million as damages.
The activist lawyer had also sought public apology from the EFCC over his illegal detention, a plea the court declined to order.
With the judgement, the matter of Dr Ubani, whose illegal detention generated so much tension in the legal circles, has been laid to rest.
recall that the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA ) as a national body, NBA Ikeja Branch, Christian Lawyers Fellowship of Nigeria, Otu Oka Iwu, the umbrella body of Eastern Lawyers, Eastern Bar Forum, group of Lawyers from the Old Eastern Nigeria, Mr Femi Falana SAN and the counsel of Dr Ubani, Chief Mike Ozekhome SAN had roundly condemned Dr Ubani’s detention by the then Ibrahim Magu-led EFCC .
The Wednesday’s decision of the FCT High Court further confirms the already-established law that a surety has not committed any crime when the person he stood surety jumps bail.
The Abuja High Court further established that the only legal implication for the surety is to show cause, or forfeit the bail bond. Arresting and detaining such a surety amounts to a flagrant violation of the rights of that individual.
The Applicant expressed extreme joy for the victory. He specifically thanked God, Chief Mike Ozekhome and his legal team, including Barristers Malik and Benson, who according to Ubani showed magnificent commitment in handling the case.
He also appreciated Femi Falana SAN who from beginning advised that EFCC was wrong to have detained Dr Ubani. He also thanked the NBA and several other groups and individuals too numerous to mention who stood by him in those trying times especially his wife Lady Faustina Ubani and his children.
Prime Business Africa