Court of Appeal directs EFCC to pay N10m fine for man’s illegal detention

The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission challenging the award of N50 million over the unlawful detention of one Babatunde Morakinyo.

The court stated that the rearrest of Morakinyo after he had perfected his bail in Abuja and Lagos was unacceptable in law and described the act as “oppressive, repressive and condemnable.”

Justice Hussein Muktar stated this on Wednesday while delivering the unanimous decision of a three-man panel of the appellate court.

He held that there was no error or ambiguity in the earlier decision of the Federal High Court, hence, the appeal was dismissed.

The twist in the appellate court’s decision was the downward review of the fine slammed by the Federal High Court on the anti-graft agency.

The appellate court ordered that the EFCC should pay N10 million as opposed to the N50 million earlier ordered by the Federal High Court Abuja.

According to the court, the earlier fine of N50 million was excessive.

The EFCC had dragged Morakinyo to the Federal High Court Abuja on March 19 on a 23-count that bordered on alleged money laundering.

During his arraignment, Morakinyo had pleaded not guilty and was admitted to bail. After perfecting the conditions of his bail, he was released when the court endorsed the warrant for his release.

However, the EFCC had rearrested and detained him on the ground that he was to face another trial before a High Court in Lagos State.

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