The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, can now stop any state from operating with its funds while such accounts are under investigation.
This was the ruling of the Federal Court of Appeal, Makurdi Division, which overturned the judgment of the Federal High Court, Makurdi preventing the EFCC, from placing the account of Benue State government on Post No Deposit( PND) for the purpose of investigations, without a court order.
In a unanimous judgment delivered by Justice M.S. Hassan on Thursday, September 22, the appellate court held that, the EFCC has powers to place any account, (state governments’ accounts inclusive) on PND for 72hours, for the purpose of investigations, without a court order.
A statement by the Head, Media and Publicity, EFCC Wilson Uwujaren, on Friday said the court also set aside the N50million damages awarded against the EFCC by the lower court.
“Justice Mobolaji Olajuwon of the Federal High Court, Makurdi, had on Tuesday, February 2, 2019 delivered a judgment, holding the EFCC from placing a PND on the account of Benue State government. Dissatisfied with the judgment, the Commission approached the Court of Appeal.
“EFCC counsel, Steve Odiase, canvassed strong arguments against the earlier judgment and the appellate court held that, the EFCC acted within its powers to freeze the account of Benue State government. The court also held that banks are legally bound to obey orders from the EFCC on PND.” The statement said.