N3.3bn money laundering suit: Court dismisses Bola Shagaya’s fundamental right application

A Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos on Thursday dismissed a suit filed by a businesswoman, Hajiya Bola Shagaya, against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), for lack of merit and abuse of court process.

Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo declared that an interim order attaching N1.9 billion domiciled in the Unity Bank’s account of Hajiya Shagaya, was validly secured by the anti -graft agency.

Justice Hassan in his ruling held that the order of interim forfeiture was to last pending conclusion of investigation and conclusion of trial by the EFCC.

However, with the ex-parte ruling, Hajiya Shagaya, through her lawyer filed a motion seeking to unfreeze the account claiming that the EFCC’s action violates her rights to own property and fair hearing.

She said she was never afforded the opportunity to defend herself before the interim order of forfeiture was secured.

But, Justice Oguntoyinbo faulted Shagaya’s claims that she was not availed the opportunity to defend herself before the order was secured.

According to the judge, the order was made through an ex-parte motion and as such there was no way the court would have listen to her own side of the story.

“The interim order was made based on an ex-parte application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). An ex-parte application has no respondent and the court is not expected to hear from the other party.

Even when the other party is around, it can only be seen and not heard.

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