A contempt charge has been filed against the acting Chairman of the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, seeking to commit him to prison by an Abuja High Court over his alleged disobedience to court order.
The contempt charge contained on Form 49 of the Abuja High Court on the EFCC boss is asking him to show cause why he should not be committed to prison.
The contempt charge followed the refusal of the EFCC to obey orders issued by Justice Peter Affen of the Abuja High Court in respect of the unlawful arrest and detention of an Austrian security expert, Mr. Wolgang Reinl in which the EFCC was found culpable.
Among others, Justice Affen has ordered EFCC to immediately release the International Passport, Cheque Books, Cell-phones and other properties of the foreign businessman unlawful confiscated from him since December 2015 when his Abuja house was illegally invaded and ransacked by the operatives of the anti-graft agency.
The judge also ordered EFCC to pay the security expert a sum of N10m as compensatory damages for his unlawful detention from December 28, 2015 to February 5, 2016, a period of over five weeks.
The contempt charge addressed to EFCC boss read in part: “Take notice that the applicant will apply to this court for an order for your committal to prison for having disobey the order of this court as made by honourable Justice Peter Affen of the FCT High Court in Abuja on April 20, 2016 requiring you to release forthwith the applicant international passport seized or confiscated in the wake of his arrest and detention and delist him from your watchlist or No-Fly list.
“And also for your failure to obey the order of the court requiring you to pay the applicant the sum of N10m as compensatory damages for the violation of his fundamental rights to dignity of human person and personal liberty.”
It would be recalled that the FCT Abuja High Court had ordered EFCC to pay a sum of N10m damages to the security expert over his unlawful detention and seizure of his international Passport by the anti-graft agency.
The court also barred the EFCC from arresting, re-arresting, detaining or embarking on further seizure of the international passport of the plaintiff who is an Austrian Security consultant.
The court held that the detention of the plaintiff at the EFCC custody in Abuja for over a month was unlawful, unconstitutional and constituted a gross violation of the plaintiff fundamental right to dignity as enshrined in Section 34 and 35 of the 1999 Constitution.
However, at the time of this report, the EFCC had yet to comply with the judgement prompting the applicant through his lawyer Mr. Mazi Afam Osigwe to file the contempt charge against the EFCC boss for his committal to prison for violation of a lawful court order.