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Ex-Minister of Power, Agunloye, sues EFCC for declaring him wanted, demands N1bn



Former Minister of Power and Steel, Dr Olu Agunloye, has filed a N1 billion lawsuit against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), for declaring him wanted.

In the suit filed on his behalf by his legal team led by Adeola Adedipe (SAN), Agunloye who served as a minister under under ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, alleged that the EFCC unlawfully published his name on its website’s wanted list, stating that the deliberate act of the EFCC was orchestrated to project him negatively in the international community.

The lawsuit filed under the case number FHC/ABJ/CS/167/2024 also includes the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Lateef Fagbemi as an additional defendant alongside the original filing.

According to the suit, Agunloye is seeking six forms of legal relief, one of which includes a statement affirming that the EFCC does not have the legal authority to use its discretionary powers or functions, as outlined in Sections 1(2)©, 6, 7, 13 of the EFCC Act, 2004, and similarly Section 4 of the Police Act 2020, to declare him wanted on its website or any similar platform.

Another relief is for an ‘order for the EFCC, its agents, privies, representatives and other related affiliates to forthwith remove his picture, name, references, details and or particulars from the wanted list published on its official website or any other related platform.’

Part of the lawsuit reads:

“The EFCC and the AGF both jointly or severally, whether by themselves or their staff, from further declaring the plaintiff wanted about the particulars and subject matter of this suit, either on the EFCC official website, newspaper publication or any other related platform, except by a judicial intervention and recourse to all constitutional safeguards available to him in law and equity.

“General damages of one billion naira (N1, 000, 000, 000 00) against the defendants, especially the 1st defendant cost of action.”

He is also seeking a judicial determination on the propriety or otherwise of exercising the EFCC’s discretion or power to declare him wanted without recourse to any judicial intervention or relevant constitutional safeguards.

“As at the time of filing this suit, my picture, name, particulars and other details are currently uploaded on the official website of the first defendant,” he noted, adding that he was declared wanted for corruption and forgery.

“I have become a subject of ridicule, stripped of my dignity, freedom of movement and even presumption of innocence, with respect to a criminal trial which I am currently being prosecuted of, by the first defendant,” Agunloye argued.

The lawsuit which was filed before Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court in Abuja, will be heard on April 18.

The EFCC had, in a bulletin profiling wanted persons on its website, declared Agunloye wanted over an alleged $ 6 billion fraud.

“Dr U Agunloye is wanted by the EFCC. Do you know his whereabouts? Please don’t hesitate to inform the EFCC or the nearest Police Station,” the EFCC had posted on its website.

The former minister who is currently at the centre of the $6 billion Mambilla hydropower contract controversy had been quizzed by the anti-graft agency over the alleged fraud several times.

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