Akwa Ibom government sues EFCC, seeks N50b damages

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The Akwa Ibom State government has instituted a N50 billion suit against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for freezing its account for 72 hours, saying the action crippled the state’s economy and soiled its reputation.

State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Uwemedimo Nwoko, disclosed this while speaking with journalists in Uyo, insisting that government was determined to pursue the matter to a logical conclusion, as the commission has no powers to freeze government’s accounts.

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His words: “We are going to win that case, because there is no basis even in the country’s constitution, the National or state Assembly or any other convention that authorises any federal agency to shut down the account of a state government the EFCC did.

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“Even if there were an investigation on whether there was any fraud committed against Akwa Ibom State in that circumstance, the state government should be the victim. So there was no basis for freezing the account, while claiming that they were investigating a fraud against that state government.

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“More importantly, freezing the account of a state government for 10 hours, even for five hours means shutting down the state. What it means was that Akwa Ibom State government was brought on its knees, it was an attempt to completely paralyze the state government’s activities.”

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The writ of summons, dated August 17, 2018, issued by Assam E. Assam (SAN) of Lex Fori Partners in Uyo, ordered the defendants to appear in court within (30) days after service or risk judgment in their absence.

The suit No: HE/UY/CS/137/18 between the Attorney General of Akwa Ibom State as claimant and EFCC, Attorney General of the Federation, Zenith Bank PLC, Skye Bank PLC and United Bank for Africa PLC, as defendants.

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Meanwhile, a clerical staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Ukanafun Local Council, Otobong Sylvester, who was kidnapped on June 5, 2018, was rescued yesterday by the joint operation of police and army at Iwukem forest.

Also rescued with him was a senior secondary (SS2) student of Western Annang Secondary Commercial School, Imaobong who said she was abducted with her mother at their home while sleeping in the night.

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