A Federal High Court, in Abuja has restrained the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, from arresting and further inviting Nigeria’s indigenous auto industrialist, Innoson Nigeria Ltd counsel, Prof. McCarthy Mbadugha, SAN.
This is coming against the backdrop of Innoson’s long running legal battles with a new generated bank, (name withheld).
Innoson Nigeria Ltd is concerned about the interference of the EFCC, in the legal matters in a manner that it has become apparent that EFCC is pursuing the interest of the bank in the pretext of exercising its statutory investigatory powers and curbing of financial crimes and the bank is pulling strings in the EFCC.
In a statement made available to Vanguard by Innoson Group, Head of Corporate Communications and Affairs, Cornel Osigwe, it stated that, in January 2022, EFCC invited Mbadugha to an interview on 1st February 2022. Mbadugha honoured the invitation.
“During the interrogation, EFCC showed him the counter affidavit to show cause which his Secretary deposed to and filed on 23rd March 2011 in opposition to the tier one bank affidavit to show cause in a matter which has been decided by the Federal Court and the decision of the Federal High Court which has affirmed by the Court of Appeal is presently pending at the Supreme Court- SC. 694/2014.
“EFCC told Mbadugha that the depositions in the counter affidavit to show cause were false and asked him the source of the information. But the SAN emphatically told EFCC its personnel interviewing, embarrassing and humiliating him, that the depositions are true.
“That it was his client that provided all the information he used in prosecuting the case and that he verily believed his client. Mbadugha insisted that both the trial court and Court of Appeal found that the depositions in the Bank’s affidavit were false and that the first generation bank did not deny the depositions in the counter affidavit of 23rd of March 2011 and that he relies and stands on the judgments of the two courts which have settled the matter and can only be overturned upon appeal and not the needless belated charade of investigation of the truth of the stated facts. EFCC kept him in its custody for over seven hours.”
He further stated that, subsequently his counsel, Mike Ozekhome, a renowned Senior Advocate of Nigeria filed, at his instruction, a fundamental human rights suit at the Federal High Court, Abuja Division against EFCC and 5 other persons which include the tier one bank.
Consequently,he stated that, following, an ex parte application at the Federal High Court Abuja by Ozekhome, praying the court for an ex-parte Order of Injunction restraining the EFCC from inviting, arresting or detaining or keeping in its custody the counsel to Innoson Nigeria Ltd, Mbadugha in relation to the allegations which he knows nothing about pending the hearing and determination of the substantive originating motion.
“The Federal High Court granted the application and ordered that status quo ante bellum as at 7th February 2022 be maintained until the determination of the originating motion.