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ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIMES COMMISSION v. ABIODUN AGBELE

(2018) LPELR-44677(CA)

In The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

On Thursday, the 14th day of June, 2018

CA/A/467/M/2016


Before Their Lordships

MOJEED ADEKUNLE OWOADE Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

HAMMA AKAWU BARKA Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

BOLOUKUROMO MOSES UGO Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria


Between

ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIMES COMMISSION - Appellant(s)

AND

ABIODUN AGBELE - Respondent(s)


Other Citations

; ;


Summary

INTRODUCTION:
This appeal borders on Enforcement of Fundamental Human Rights.
FACTS:
The facts generating the instant appeal is that the appellant, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission arrested the respondent at the Park View Estate Lagos, on the 27th of June, 2016 on the suspicion of having committed an offence. On being arrested, respondent was taken to the Lagos office of the EFCC (appellant) where he volunteered two statements.

???Even though the appellant granted the respondent administrative bail, the respondent initially failed to meet up with the stringent conditions attached thereto. Further to that, appellants approached the Lagos state Magistrate Court 5, located at Ogba-Ikeja, where it obtained an order permitting it (appellant) to remand the respondent in her custody for 14 days, up to the 14th of July, 2016. Thereafter, and on the 1st of July, 2016, the respondent was transferred to its head office in Abuja. The respondent was kept in the custody of the appellants for a period upward of thirteen days, and upon being served the Originating Motion on Notice on the 11/07/2016 and the 12/07/2016 by the respondents, further obtained another remand warrant against the respondent from the Chief Magistrate Court, Wuse ll for the remand of the respondent in their custody to the 1st of August, 2016. 

Consequent on the above, the respondent initiated an action for the enforcement of his fundamental rights against the appellant in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, (as amended), and the Fundamental Rights Enforcement Procedure Rules, 2009. Upon being served with the application on 12/07/2016, the respondent filed a counter affidavit on 15/07/2016, containing thirty-one (31) main paragraphs, to which some documents were annexed as exhibits. 

The trial Court considered the affidavit evidence, as well as the written addresses laid before it, and in a considered judgment delivered on the 21st of July, 2016 granted some declaratory reliefs and awarded damages of Five Million Naira in favour of the respondent against the appellant.

Dissatisfied with the judgment of the trial Court, the appellant brought this appeal.

ISSUES:
The Court determined the appeal on the appellant's issues as follows:
1. Whether the trial Court had jurisdiction to entertain the suit in view of Sections 46 (1) and 251 (1) (r) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999.  
2. Whether the trial Court was right when it held that the appellants were in violation of the respondent's fundamental right to personal liberty, and dignity of his person.
3. Assuming without conceding that the trial Court was right in holding that the appellant was in violation of the respondent's fundamental right to personal liberty and dignity of his person; whether the award of aggravated damages of N5,000,000.00 (Five Million Naira) against the appellant was not excessive considering the entire circumstances of the case.


DECISION/HELD:
In the final analysis, the Court held that the appeal lacked merit and it was accordingly dismissed. Consequently, the decision of the trial Court was affirmed.


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