Judge withdraws from NIMASA ex-boss’ human rights case

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA),  Photo credit: worldstagegroup

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Photo credit: worldstagegroup

justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia of the Federal High Court judge, Lagos has withdrawn from the fundamental human right enforcement suit filed before the court by Mrs. Timi Beauty Akpobolokemi, the wife of the embattled immediate past Director General of Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Patrick Akpolobokemi against Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

When the case was mentioned at the last hearing, Dr. Joseph Nwobike (SAN) announced his appearance for the applicant while Uchenna Moneke announced his appearance for EFCC. Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia said ‘for personal reasons she was withdrawing from the case’ that the case file would consequently be returned to the chief Judge for re-assignment.

Apart from Mrs. Akpobolokemi, other applicants are Clement Akpobolokemi, Stephen Akpobolokemi, Julius Akpobolokemi and Victor Akpobolokemi who are all biological brothers of the former NIMASA boss.

In an affidavit sworn to by Stephen Akpobolokemi and filed before the court by Nwobike, the deponent averred that on July 31, 2015, fully armed operative of EFCC numbering about 25 stormed the residence of the former NIMASA boss at 6, Ondo Street, Banana Island, Lagos on account of EFCC’s investigations into the stewardship of Dr Patrick Akpobolokemi during his tenure as the Director General of NIMASA.

Stephen averred further that 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 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 agency to report at their office on November 5, 2015.

The applicants argued that the woman had never been an employee of NIMASA and had never impeded the investigation of her husband.

The four brothers also alleged that they had been under constant threats of arrest and detention by EFCC on the account of being the brothers of Dr. Patrick Akpobolokemi, while Julius Akpobolokemi’s bank accounts domiciled with Ecobank Plc and Diamond Bank Plc have been frozen.

Victor Akpolobokemi’s account maintained with First Bank of Nigeria was also frozen, they alleged.

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