Former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, and the spokesman of Pan-Yoruba group Afenifere, Chief Yinka Odumakin have jointly dragged the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) to a Federal High Court in Abuja in pursuit of the enforcement of their fundamental rights.
Also joined in the suit are the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Nigeria Police Force (NPS).The suit has to do with a threat by the EFCC to arrest and detain the opposition figures for purportedly using the social media to peddle falsehood against the commission for “raiding the home” of the embattled Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen.
According to a copy of the originating summons sighted by us in Abuja, which was marked FHC/ABJ/CS/49/2019 and dated 17th January 2019, the duo approached the Court for “A DECLARATION that the Respondent’s public declaration to arrest the Applicants on the bases of spreading false rumours, is an infringement of the Applicants rights and breach of their fundamental rights enshrined…” in the 1999 constitution (as amended).
“AN ORDER enforcing the Applicants’ fundamental rights and ordering the Respondents to stop issuing threat of unlawful arrest…”
“AN ORDER OF INJUNCTION” protecting the Applicants from indiscriminate arrest by restraining the Respondents from threatening, harassing, intimidating, inviting, arresting or detaining the Applicants, by the Respondents, their privies or agents.”
Fani-Kayode and Odumakin, also demanded for the sum of twenty million naira (N20m) “as damages for the unlawful threat” against them.Chukwuma-Machukwu Ume (SAN), former Attorney-General of Imo State, who filed the case on behalf of the plaintiffs, will stand in for them.
Meanwhile, the Spokesman of the EFCC, Mr. Tony Orilade, while representing the Chairman of the Commission, Ibrahim Magu, at a conference organised by the Online Publishers Association of Nigeria (OPAN), had publicly threatened to invite both Fani-Kayode and Odumakin for questioning.
He added that if they failed to honour “the invitation within 48 hours” they will be arrested. And if they honour the invitation but fail to give useful information they will be detained. He claimed that it was Chief Fani-Kayode and Chief Odumakin that initiated the rumours through their tweet and video, respectfully.
The Spokesman also vowed that despite that the video had been deleted and the tweet pulled down, with apology, the Commission will not forgive the duo because according to him, it was a serious issue capable of setting the country ablaze.