A Federal High Court judge, sitting in Lagos, Justice Ofili Ajumogobia, has withdrawn from the fundamental human rights enforcement suit filed before the court by Mrs Beauty Akpobolokemi, wife of the embattled former Director General of Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Patrick Akpolobokemi against Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
When the case came up yesterday, Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia said, “For personal reasons, I am handing off this case. Consequently, the case file will be returned to the Chief Judge for re-assignment.”
Other plaintiffs in the suit are Clement Akpobolokemi, Stephen Akpobolokemi, Julius Akpobolokemi and Victor Akpobolokemi who are biological brothers of the former NIMASA boss.
Their counsel, Joseph Nwobike, in an affidavit in support of the suit, had averred that, “On July 31, 2015, fully armed operatives of EFCC, numbering about 25, stormed the residence of the former NIMASA boss at 6, Ondo Street,Banana Island, Lagos State, without any search warrant.
“The EFCC operatives harassed them and coerced Mrs Akpobolokemi to write incriminating statement against her husband on account of his stewardship at NIMASA and without the order of the court, blocked the woman’s account maintained at United Bank for Africa Plc while she was invited by the commission to report at their office on November, 5, 2015.
“They further averred that Mrs Akpobolokemi was never a staff of NIMASA and has never impeded the investigation of her husband.
“The four brothers also alleged that they have been under constant threats of arrest, intimidation and detention by EFCC on the account of being the brothers of Dr Akpobolokemi, while Julius Akpobolokemi’s bank accounts domicile with Ecobak Plc and Diamond bank Plc had been frozen, Victor Akpolobokemi’s account maintained with FirstBank of Nigeria was also frozen by the commission.”
It would be recalled that Patrick Akpobolokemi was sacked by President Muhammadu Buhari as Director General of NIMASA on July 16. He has since been under investigation for alleged financial misappropriation by the EFCC and the Department of State Security (DSS).
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