The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has been dragged before a High Court in Lagos State by popular internet celebrity, Ismaila Mustapha, also known as Mompha.
Mompha instituted a fundamental rights enforcement suit against EFCC for detaining him beyond the constitutionally stipulated days without charging him to court.
In the suit filed by his lawyers, Gboyega Oyewole (SAN), Ademola Adefolaju, Kolawole Salami and four others, the businessman is demanding the sum of N5m as damages from the anti-graft agency.
The self-acclaimed Bureau-De-Change operator also sought a court order directing the EFCC to release him unconditionally forthwith from its custody.
Mompha is seeking an order of perpetual injunction restraining EFCC or any person whatsoever acting for or on behalf of the agency from arresting and detaining him in relation to the subject of the suit without recourse to due process of law.
He is also seeking a court declaration that his continued and further detention by the EFCC on the basis of the remand order granted on October 22, 2019, by Court 6 of Ikeja Magistrate Court, Lagos, vide a form for request for remand pursuant to the Administration Of Criminal Justice Act and which elapsed and or expired on November 4, 2019, without being charged and arraigned before a court of competent jurisdiction is unlawful, unjustifiable, unconstitutional and constitute gross violation of his fundamental rights to personal liberty and fair hearing as contained in section 35 (4) (5) and 36 of the 1999 constitution (as amended)
The lawyers also stated that on October 19, 2019, their client was arrested at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja, and thereafter detained by the EFCC on account of alleged money laundering and other related offences. ”
They added that on the same day, he was transferred to the agency’s detention facility in Ikoyi, Lagos from Abuja, before obtaining a remand order from the Magistrate’ Court of Lagos for a period of 14 days and that since October 19, 2019, he has been held in detention beyond two days as stipulated by Sections 36 and 35 of the Constitution respectively.
The court is yet to fix a date for the hearing of the suit.