Benue state govt sues EFCC over frozen bank accounts Press "Enter" to skip to content

Benue state govt sues EFCC over frozen bank accounts

The vacation judge Federal High Court, Abuja, Justice Babatunde Quadri on Thursday asked the Benue State Government to serve court processes it filed challenging the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the freezing of the state bank accounts on the commission.

Justice Quadri issued the order yesterday after listening to the submissions by counsel to Benue State government, Emeka Etiaba (SAN).

The state government is contending that EFCC or anybody has no power under the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria to inquire into the disbursements and administration of the funds of Benue State Government without the resolution of the state House of Assembly.

The court however directed the state government to serve all the processes involved in the suit on the anti- graft agency and other respondents before the next hearing date fixed for August ‎14, 2018.

Others in the suit are the Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly; the Clerk, Benue State House of Assembly; Benue State House of Assembly and the Auditor-General, Benue State.

Before hearing the exparte motion filed by counsel to Benue State, ‎Emeka Etiaba (SAN) and Emeka Okpoko (SAN), the judge granted leave to the plaintiff to hear the matter as a vacation court.

Etiaba had prayed the court to issue a preservative order restraining the EFCC from investigating the accounts of the state under any guise without due authorisation of the Benue State House of Assembly pursuant to section 128 and 129 of the Constitution.

Specifically, ‎in the originating summons marked FHC/MKD/CS/42/18 filed by the Attorney General of Benue State, the court is urged to determine whether by virtue of sections 6, 7 and 38(1) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Act 2004,

or any other law, the EFCC or any other body, authority or person beyond the Benue State House of Assembly and the Auditor- General, Benue State (4th and 5th respondents), has the power to investigate or inquire into the accounts

and /or appropriations, disbursements and administration of the funds of Benue State Government having regard to the clear provisions of sections 1(1) and (3), 125(2), (4) and (6), 128 and 129 of the 1999 constitution.

The State asked the court to determine “Whether in the absence of any resolution duly passed by the Benue State House of Assembly authorizing the EFCC or any other body, authority or person to investigate and/or inquire into the accounts or appropriations, disbursements and administration of the funds of Benue State Government,

the EFCC or any other body, authority or person can lawfully and constitutionally embark on such exercise without breaching the clear provisions of Sections 1 (1) and (3), 125(2), (4) and (6), 128 and 129 of the Constitution.

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