Law & Judiciary

Court Awards Ubani N12m for Illegal Detention 

By Onyebuchi Sampson

The Federal Capital Territory High Court, Abuja has awarded the sum of N12 million in favor of Dr. Monday Ubani for unlawful detention by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The former second vice president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) was detained illegally by the anti-graft agency for over 20 days on the ground that he stood surety for a woman – Dr.Mrs. Ngozi Olejeme), who jumped bail.

Consequent to his detention and the tension generated, Ubani dragged the EFCC to court, asking for N5 billion in damages and public apology.

Delivering judgment, the trial judge, Sylvanus Oriji said that the detention infringed on the right of Dr. Ubani and therefore entitled to the reliefs sought.

The judge declared the detention illegal and awarded the sum of N12 million as damages to the plaintiff against the sum of N5 billion sought.

The court, in the judgment, however, refused to order the EFCC to offer a public apology to the applicant for the illegal detention.

Responding, Ubani said the decision had further settled the already established law that a surety has not committed any crime when the person he stood surety for jumps bail.

According to him, the only legal implication for the surety is to show cause or forfeit the bail bond. Arresting and detaining such a surety, he said, amounts to a flagrant violation of the rights of that individual.

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He expressed joy for the victory, thanking God for his sustenance and his legal team, who showed magnificent commitment in the handling of the case.

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