The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, having reviewed yesterday’s judgment of Justice Mobolaji Olajuwon of the Federal High Court sitting in Makurdi, Benue State, which awarded N50million damages against the Commission and N25million each against UBA and Fidelity Bank in favour of the state government, wishes to state that the Commission will appeal the ruling.
It is important that we put to test the verdict of this court of first instance in a superior court on the grounds that if a verdict such as this is allowed to stand, it may undermine the patriotic efforts of the Commission in tackling corruption.
We also note that it is capable of sending the wrong signal against the judicial system, when a matter as serious as what led the EFCC to probe the account of the state government could be decided on technicalities rather than the merit of the action of the Commission.
It will be recalled that consequent upon our investigations into the financial dealings of the state governor in August last year, we directed for a temporary freeze of the government’s account with UBA and Fidelity Bank, a practice that is instructive in the course of investigations in such circumstances as a result of the limitation on interference it makes on such accounts.
We wish to state with high sense of responsibility that we have, as a Commission, taken such actions as a necessity, since it is within our mandate, derived from the law.
We also wish to state that our lawyers are making necessary arrangements to challenge the verdict, as we believe that the judgment is a miscarriage of justice that cannot stand the test of time.