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EFCC has no powers to declare anyone wanted – Judge


Justice Othman Musa of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory has ruled that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) lacks the powers to declare anyone wanted without first obtaining a court order for that purpose or charging the suspect with an offence.
Justice Musa also said that although the EFCC could declare people who failed to honour its invitation wanted, it could only do so if it obtains a court order for that purpose.
He made made this pronouncement in a fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by the Chief Executive Officer of AITEO Group, Benedict Peters.
Peters had, in the suit marked, FCT/HC/CV/23/2017, accused EFCC of declaring him wanted on its website without following due process.
The EFCC and the Attorney-General of the Federation were the respondents to the suit.
Peters, through his lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), contended that his declaration as wanted by the EFCC to declare him wanted without a pending charge against him or a valid court order to that effect was a violation of his fundamental rights. The EFCC had said Peters was being investigated in relation to his alleged involvement the $115m allegedly used by agents of the past administration to bribe officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission during the 2015 election. The anti-graft agency said it declared Peters wanted after obtaining an arrest warrant from the Magistrates’ Court in Lagos, following his refusal to hononur invitations

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