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Rights Violation: Court Orders EFCC To Release Babcock Student Held For Her Mother’s Debt

Rights Violation: Court Orders EFCC To Release Babcock Student Held For Her Mother’s Debt

A Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos has ordered the release of a Babcock University student, Miss Oluwateniola Omidiji, detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as a result of a debt owed by her widowed mother, Mrs Omoniyi Omidiji.

In a fundamental rights lawsuit (FHC/L/CS/759/224), Miss Omidiji alleged that she was taken hostage by EFCC operatives over a debt allegedly owed by her mother to Mr. Charles Nwoko.

Nwoko said he invested the sum of N100,000,000 into Mrs. Omidiji’s business sometime in 2020 coming after Oluwateniola for the sum and the interest since her mother, his joint venture partner, is out of Nigeria.

Justice Y. Bogoro gave the order following an application for the enforcement of her fundamental human rights brought by her lawyer, Emeka Chijioke SAN of Auxano Law Chambers. Already Oluwateniola 19, is spending her 11th day in EFCC detention.

The judge said: “I have considered the ex-parte application, the extant laws under which the application is brought, and the affidavit supporting the application. I hereby grant the reliefs sought.”

She was subsequently detained at the agency’s detention facility at Ikoyi Lagos, where she’s been kept since. Justice Bogoro’s order was issued on Friday, May 3, 2024.

During the investigation, EFCC discovered that four persons were named directors in a company called Elisto Global Services Limited, which Mrs Omidiji allegedly used to receive the money from Mr. Nwoko.

They are the Applicant’s mother; the alleged creditor, Mr. Nwoko; the Applicant’s brother, and the Applicant.

Oluwateniola had cried out to the Court for relief after her school was stormed last Friday by EFCC operatives while she was writing exams. They laid siege to the school and took her away.

EFCC is alleged to have maintained that having been named by her mother as a director of Elisto, the 19-year-old Oluwateniola should answer for her mother’s presumed wrongs in the joint venture with Mr Nwoko.

Oluwateniola has been detained at EFCC’s facility at Ikoyi until EFCC gets her mother’s attention while other students have since continued with their exams.

In an application to enforce her fundamental rights filed by her lawyer Chijioke Emeka, SAN of Auxano Law, Oluwateniola contends that she was only a 16-year-old minor when her mother entered into a partnership with Mr. Nwoko and she knows nothing about it.

She contends that it is wrong for the EFCC to hold her hostage over a wrong alleged to have been done by her mother.

She further contends that the transaction is a civil matter and asked the Court to order the EFCC to leave her out of the issue and pay her N10,000,000 as damages for the violation of her fundamental rights to human dignity, personal liberty, fair hearing, and freedom of movement.

Hence, no date has been fixed for the hearing of the case. Justice Bogoro adjourned further hearing in the suit till May 21, 2024.

 

 

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