HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION: ONYEKA EZE CARPETS EFCC ARTHUR EZE

On Monday, September 20, the legal battle between Prince Onyeka Nnadozie Eze, his uncle, Prince Arthur Eze and Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, came to a climax with a judgment delivered by Hon. Justice Suleiman B. Belgore at a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
In the SUIT NO: FCT/HC/CM/12892/2020, dated 20-09-2021, eleven out of the 12 reliefs sought by Prince Onyeka Eze against violation of his fundamental human rights by EFCC in connivance with his uncle, Prince Arthur Eze, were granted and N10 million Naira was awarded in his favour as compensation.
In his judgment, Justice Belgore said that his decision was predicated on an originating Motion number M/12892/2020, dated 9/2/20, filed same day, in which Prince Onyeka Nnadozie Eze Sued Economic And Financial Crime Commission And Prince (Engr.) Arthur Eze and prayed for the following reliefs:
A DECLARATION that the arrest and subsequent detention of the applicant variously at the Headquarters of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, Jabi, and Idagbon House No. 5 Fomella Street, Off Ademola Adetokunbo Crescent, Wuse II Abuja on Wednesday the 11th day of November, 2020, till date by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and its officers/operatives at the behest and instigation of Arthur Eze, is unlawful, unwarranted and unconstitutional; being in contravention of the Onyeka Eze’s Fundamental Right to personal liberty as preserved and enshrined in Section 35 of the 1999 Constitution.
A DECLARATION that the seizure and subsequent withholding of Onyeka Eze since Sunday the 15th day of November, 2020 at the said Headquarters and Wuse II offices of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) by the Economic Crime Commission at the behest and investigation of the Arthur Eze without arraigning him before a Court of competent Jurisdiction is unlawful, unwarranted and unconstitutional being in contravention of the enshrined in Section 35 of the 1999 Constitution.
A DECLARATION that the seizure and subsequent withholding of the Onyeka Eze’s International Passport by Arthur Eze with the concurrence/assistance of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is unlawful and unconstitutional being in contravention of his Fundamental Right to freedom of movement as enshrined and preserved under section 41 of the 1999 Constitution.
A DECLARATION that the EFCC and Arthur Eze’s insistence that Onyeka Eze must surrender and sign over his landed property and personal property/chattel to Arthur Eze as a condition precedent to the release of the Onyeka Eze from EFCC’s detention is unlawful, unwarranted and unconstitutional being a contravention of the Applicant’s Fundamental Right fair hearing as enshrined in Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution.
A DECLARATION that the seizure and detention/withholding of the Onyeka Eze’s personal property/chattel, to with phones, jewelries, and one Samsung laptop’s etc by the EFCC at the behest of Arthur Eze, is unlawful and unconstitutional being a contravention of his Fundamental Right to fair hearing and right against compulsory acquisition of property as entrenched in Section 36 and 44 of the 1999 Constitution.
A DECLARATION that the invasion of Onyeka Eze’s home on the 11th day of November, 2020 with a multitude of men/officers and ransacking of same by a team of officers/operatives of the EFCC at the behest and instigation of Arthur Eze without presenting a search warrant to Onyeka Eze, is unlawful and Fundamental Right to private/family life as preserved in Section 37 of the 1999 Constitution.
A DECLARATION that the freezing of Onyeka Eze’s Bank Accounts with Ecobank Nig. Ltd, fidelity bank Ltd and Guaranty Trust Bank, by the EFCC at the instigation of Arthur Eze on the mere suspicious by that Onyeka Eze misappropriated his funds, is unwarranted, unlawful and unconstitutional being in contravention of the Applicant’s Fundamental Right to fair hearing as preserved by Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution.
AN ORDER directing the immediate and unconditional release of the Onyeka Eze from the EFCC’s custody pending when the Anti-graft body is ready to charge him to Court for whatever offence conceived by it.
AN ORDER compelling the EFCC and Arthur Eze to immediately release Onyeka Exe, his International Passport, and personal chattel, including title Deeds, phones namely Samsung phones and iphone.
AN ORDER of injunction restraining the EFCC and Arthur Eze from deploying the facilities of the EFCC to infringe howsoever on the Fundamental Rights of Onyeka Eze to fair hearing, freedom of movement, right to private/family, right to personal liberty and freedom from compulsory acquisition of property on account of Arthur Eze’s fabled suspicion of misappropriation of his funds.
AN ODER directing the EFCC to unfreeze the Bank Accounts of Onyeka Eze with these Banks to wit: Ecobank Nig. Ltd, Fidelity Bank Ltd. Keystone Bank, Access Bank plc, UBA and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc; or at all the particulars of which accounts are listed on grounds upon which the reliefs are sought.
The sum of N 1,000,000,000.00 (One Billion Naira Only) against the EFCC and Arthur Eze jointly and severally being exemplary damages for their flagrant and oppressive contravention of the Applicant’s Fundamental Rights.
Saying that he found the action of EFCC against Prince Onyeka Eze unjustifiable in all ramifications in spite of the Court Order granted on 11th of December 2020 for his release from the anti-graft Agency’s custody, Justice Belgore consequentially awarded N10 million as damages in his favour, upholding the other eleven Reliefs he has sought through the Court.
It will be recalled that the same Abuja High Court presided over by Hon. Justice S. B. Belgore awarded Ten Million Naira (N10, 000,000) against EFCC and Prince Arthur Eze “jointly and severally being exemplary damages for flagrant and oppressive contravention of Prince Olisa Eze’s fundamental human rights”.
Delivering his judgment on June 23, 2021, Justice Belgore based his verdict on “an Originating Motion number M/1289/2020, dated 9/12/20,” which was filed on the same day by Prince Olisa Okwuchukwu Eze and Mrs. Amarachi Chinonso Eze (applicants), suing Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, and Prince (Engr.) Arthur Eze (Respondents) for violation of their fundamental human rights.
Also in his judgment, Justice Belgore ordered EFCC to unfreeze the bank accounts of Prince Olisa Eze with Ecobank, Fidelity Bank Ltd and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. In the same way, the court granted “an order of injunction restraining both EFCC and Prince Arthur Eze from deploying the Anti-graft agency to infringe, howsoever, on the fundamental human rights Olisa Eze to “fair hearing, freedom of movement, right to privacy/family, right to personal liberty and freedom from compulsory acquisition of property on the account of Prince Arthur Eze’s fabled suspicion of misappropriation of funds.”
Similarly, Justice Belgore gave an order “compelling both EFCC and Prince Arthur Eze to immediately release to Olisa Eze his International Passport and personal chantel, including phones, laptops and jewelries”.
Lastly, the court also awarded the “Sum of N10,000,000 (Ten Million Naira) against EFCC and Prince Arthur Eze jointly and severally being exemplary damages for flagrant and oppressive contravention of fundamental human rights of Mrs. Amarachi Chinonso Eze, Prince Olisa Eze’s wife.
Meanwhile, while the case was still at the Federal High Court Abuja, Justice Buba Ibrahim of Enugu High Court, allegedly in connivance with Arthur Eze, ruled for Federal Government to take properties of Prince Olisa and Onyeka Eze. However, the ruling was appealed against and , Arthur Eze’s lawyer prayed for final forfeiture and for it to be forfeited to Arthur Eze and not Federal Government as they Initially prayed. The Matter has been adjourned to 15th of October for further hearing.

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