The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has kicked against the judgment of a Federal High Court in Abuja restraining the anti-graft agency from declaring the chairman of the now defunct Pension Reform Task Team, Malam Abdulrasheed Maina wanted for pension fraud.
In a statement released by the Commission, the Magu led anti-corruption agency said it noted with concern, the judgement of Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, in which Justice Folasade Giwa Ogunbanjo restrained the Commission from declaring Malam Abdulrasheed Maina, wanted, as well as gave an order of perpetual injunction, restraining the EFCC and its affiliates or related bodies from further declaring Maina wanted in relation to the issue of the pension scam.
The commission said:
“As a Commission, we state that such a pronouncement amounts to a clog on the wheels of our operations in execution of our statutory duties. The judgment must not be allowed to stand because it is not only a miscarriage of justice but grossly inimical to the culture of a corrupt-free society which the Commission is striving so hard to enthrone. We will, therefore, appeal the judgement.
We further wish to state that we will not relent to do all that is required within the ambit of the law in our avowed commitment to bring every Nigerian with ill-gotten wealth to justice.”
The EFCC had in 2017, declared Maina wanted, following his refusal to honour the Commission’s invitations. But in his bid to evade the long arm of the law, Maina, on September 5, 2018, in a suit no: FHC/ABJ/CS/957/2918, asked the court to decide whether the Commission can lawfully exercise powers of declaring him wanted, either on its official website or any other media platform, or “harass him.”
In a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/957/2918 instituted by Maina on September 5, 2018, he sought a determination of the legality of being declared wanted by EFCC.
He also sought an order of perpetual injunction restraining EFCC from further harassing or declaring him wanted.
He further prayed the court to order the EFCC, both jointly or severally, its staff, agents, privies, representatives and any other person or related affiliates under whatever name or guise, to forthwith steer clear and remove his picture, name, references, addresses, details and other particulars from the wanted list published on the EFCC official website or any other related platform wherever it may be.
Ruling on the matter, Justice Ogunbanjo gave an order of perpetual injunction restraining EFCC and its affiliates or related bodies from further declaring him “wanted” in relation to subject matter of this suit.
The ruling read in part: “The plaintiff’s second prayer is a declaration that without recourse to any safeguard in sections 35, 37, 41 and 42 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), including a judicial intervention, order of court pursuant to sections 1(1), 8(1) and 42(2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, the 1st defendant cannot lawfully exercise its discretion, powers and or functions under sections 1(2)(C), 6, 7, 13 of the Economic and Financial Crimes Act, 2004, ditto section 4 of the Police Act, 2004 within the confines of the law.”