…Gives 14-days ultimatum for unconditional unfreezing of the Accounts
A human rights organization,the Centre for Human Rights and Social Justice (CHRSJ) has concluded arrangement to drag the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) and three Nigeria banks to Court of competent jurisdiction over illegal frozen of bank accounts belonging to one Engineer Olufemi Emmanuel Olajide,a Lagos based Contractor.
The banks to be taking to Court along side anti-graft agency were;Access Bank,Heritage Bank and Zenith Bank.
The rights group also gave 14-days ultimatum to the anti-graft body and aforementioned banks to unconditionally unblocking the five accounts belonging to Engineer Olajide, the Chairman/Managing Director, OFEM A Construction Company Limited,Ikorodu,Lagos.
It insisted that the rights group would not hesitate after the expiration of the ultimatum to approach the Court of Law to seek redress for the innocent Nigerian contractor, saying that since illegal frozen of the accounts, the EFCC and the Banks have made life unbearable for Engineer Olajide and his entire household.
Similarly,a Lagos based Lawyer, Barrister Nurudeen Ogbara has written a strong worded Petition Letter dated 23rd of February,2020 to the Chairman of the Commission (EFCC),registered its Law firm displeasure over the illegal closure of the bank accounts of the innocent and law abiding citizen of the Country, Engineer Olufemi Emmanuel Olajide.
In a statement signed by the CHRSJ’s Executive Chairman, Comrade Adeniyi Alimi Sulaiman and copies were made available to newsmen on Tuesday,disclosed that the decision of the Commission to freeze the accounts without thorough investigation, amounted to abuse of due process, diligent investigation and disrespect to the fundamental human right to fear hearing, declaring that the EFCC and the banks action were illegal, unconstitutional,satanic, ungodly and abuse of office/power.
Comrade Sulaiman who stated that the EFCC unjustly blocked the Zenith Bank Account with number:1012808033, belonging to OFEM A Construction Company Limited, Zenith Bank Account with number:1160025847/2002897156,Access Bank with number:0717257960 and Heritage Bank with number:1000504714 ,all belonging to Engineer Olufemi Emmanuel Olajide.
Part of the Petition Letter of Ogbara Law firm read thus; “That Tuesday 5th day of February,2019,our clients were seriously astonished and greatly alarmed to discover that the aforementioned four(4) accounts were frozen by EFCC without any Court order or any prior reference to our clients.
“That our Clients were therefore compelled to immediately go to the office of the EFCC at Ikoyi to find out the reason why their said four Accounts were frozen without any lawful justification but no Staff of the Commission was able to give any clue to our clients who kept visiting the EFCC office on daily basis without any explanation for this action.
“That on Monday, the 18th day of February,2019(18/2/2019),our clients Chairman/Managing Director, Engineer Olufemi Emmanuel Olajide was traced from his office in Ikorodu and eventually arrested and taken to EFCC’s office in Ikoyi where he was detained and subjected to a series of interrogations and deprivations as per the freezing of the afore-said accounts.
“That our clients confidently responded to all questions he was asked in relation to all the accounts and business initiatives and he confirmed that he submitted a construction bid to the Government of Adamawa State and he was optimistic that his bid would be favourably considered and that he looked forward to doing business with Adamawa State Government”.
The Letter added that “it was at this stage that the EFCC officers interrogating him realized that our clients were not even aware that a fraud had been committed in connection with the contract issue but the said officers still kept our clients in the dark and in detention while they claimed to continue to investigate the fraud”.
It was learnt that Engineer Olajide was transferred to the Zonal Office of the EFCC in Gombe where he was illegally detained for few days before he was given an administrative bail and since then, he has been urging the anti-graft body to defreeze his accounts through a Letter dated 12th of November,2019 because he has nothing to do with acclaimed fraud.
But investigation conducted by CHRSJ revealed that Engineer Olajide was innocent of the whole issue and he was just a victim of circumstances orchestrated by the immediate past Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Adamawa State,who has vested interest in the same construction contract for his friend.
But when the former Attorney- General realized that the State government had concluded arrangement to give the construction contract to the Construction Company of Engineer Olufemi Emmanuel Olajide, he just used his position then to drag EFCC into the matter that lead to the unjust arrest and subsequent interrogation of Olajide with the aim of stopping the State government from giving the contract to the Lagos based Ofem A Construction Company which the then Commissioner for Justice was achieved.
Sulaiman who doubles as a Convener,Save Lagos Group (SLG), therefore,urged the Acting Executive Chairman of EFCC,Mr. Ibrahim Magu, to give immediate directive to the aforementioned banks to unfreezing the affected bank accounts without delaying.
Comrade Adeniyi, Alimi Sulaiman,
Executive Chairman, CHRSJ,