Mr Fadi Alloush, a Charcoal Merchant, on Tuesday instituted N100 million suit in the Oyo State High Court in Ibadan, against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged or violations of his Fundamental Human Rights.
Other respondents in the suit are the Chief Executive of Coco Dor Nigeria Ltd, Mr Houssam Nasreddine and his company, who were sued for N50 million in damages over alleged blackmail.
Mr Olukunle Kamisi, the claimant’s counsel, informed the Court that the EFCC unlawfully arrested and detained his client over a complaint that was supposed to be a commercial civil transaction between his client and his business partner, Nasreddine.
Kamisi alleged that the EFCC failed to conduct diligent investigation before arresting his client and that the available documents and facts presented by his client clearly showed that the complaint of advanced fee fraud by Nasredddine was false.
He said that that his client and Nasredddine, had before EFCC’s arrest, been to the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) Alagba, Lagos State, where he agreed to return for further discussion on the reconciliation of account between them.
Kamisi said that the detention of Alloush in the custody of EFCC between March 9 to 17 was purely civil commercial transaction between him and Nasredddine.
He said that the move by Nasredddine to report the matter to the EFCC was to frustrate the reconciliation attempt of FCID, Alagba,adding that Nasredddine”s statement before the EFCC showed that both parties were business partners.
Kamisi said that the EFCC acted in contrary to the law establishing it and does not have the power to entertain a civil matter and cannot act as debt collector.
He said that his clients business was destroyed during the arrest and detention while his charcoal trucks were also seized.
Kamisi urged the court to award N100 million as damages against the EFCC for unlawful and reckless violation of the applicant’s right to Personal Liberty and N50 million against Nasredddine.
He prayed the court to restrain EFCC from harassing ,molesting and embarrassing his client.
In his response, Counsel to the EFCC, Dr Benedict Ubi, informed the court that the commission acted in accordance with the law.
Ubi, however, prayed the court for an adjournment to enable the commission file a reply on point of law to the further affidavit of the applicant.
Justice Iyabo Yerima, granted his prayer for an adjournment fixed July 1 for continuation,