Businessman Files Contempt Charge Against Lamorde | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Businessman Files Contempt Charge Against Lamorde

Posted: Oct 12, 2015 at 9:06 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

*Accuses EFCC of disobeying court orders

A businessman, Jyde Adelakun, has accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of disobeying orders made by the Federal High Court in Lagos.
Justice Mohammed Yunusa, in a judgment on September 23, declared Adelakun’s arrest and detention for five days from July 3 to 8 as illegal and unconstitutional.
He held that the commission’s freezing of the applicant’s corporate account with Skye Bank and other accounts without any court order was unlawful, null and void.
Justice Yunusa ordered the respondents to unfreeze/unblock the accounts forthwith.
He restrained EFCC from freezing Adelakun’s accounts or doing anything that may deny him “unhindered, unfettered access to his funds” in his accounts.
The judge also restrained the commission from arresting or detaining the applicant “in connection with mere suspicion and unfounded speculation.”
The commission was also directed to release all properties siezed from Adelakun to him. He and his company, Touch of Fame Energy Limited, had sought the enforcement of their fundamental rights.
But Adelakun claimed the commission has refused to obey the orders. According to him, he still cannot access his bank account.
He has, therefore, filed Form 48 (Notice of Consequence of Disobedience of Court Order) against EFCC chairman Ibrahim Lamorde.
The form reads: “Take notice that unless you obey the directions contained in this Court order, you will be guilty of contempt of Court and will be liable to be committed to prison.”
Adelakun said both the bank and EFCC were served with the order, but that the commission was yet to unfreeze his accounts with Skye Bank, Adeola Hopewell, Victoria Island Branch.
“What is now the meaning of the ‘rule of law’ when certain government parastatals believes that they above the law and courts are not to be obeyed,” he asked.
He said he met with the commission’s head of legal department so as to get his accounts unfrozen, still the orders were allegedly not obeyed. Instead, he said he was threatened and intimidated at the commission office.
Justice Yunusa had held that EFCC did not obtain a court order before detaining Adelakun, adding that keeping him beyond 24hours violated his rights.
“The respondent admitted arresting the applicant, but he was not arrested with a warrant of arrest. No arrest warrant was exhibited. For an arrest to be valid, there must be a warrant. The respondent (EFCC) acted irrationally.
“The exercise of arrest powers merely to obtain information from a suspect is illegal. There is nothing to show that they did basic preliminary investigation.
“Why was the report of investigation not attached to the counter-affidavit? The court cannot rely on mere averments. It must be substantiated,” the judge said.
Justice Yunusa said security agencies should be careful not to get intoxicated by their powers to the extent that they harass the citizens they were meant to protect.
“The Constitution provides that no person should be detained unnecessarily. Once a person is arrested, their liberty is curtailed. It does not matter how long the detention lasted,” the judge said.
The judge declared the applicant’s arrest illegal. He ordered that his bank accounts be unfrozen and Adelakun given “unhindered or unfettered access to his funds.”