From Ron-well Jacob, Jos.
Thirteen University Lecturers have dragged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before a Jos Federal High Court I over alleged violation of their fundamental human rights.
Joined in the suit, which is before Justice Musa Kurya, are the Registrars of the University of Jos and Plateau State University as 2nd and 3rd respondents.
The lecturers are demanding for N100 million as damages for the alleged violation of their human rights by the anti-graft agency, which they accused of arresting, harassing and freezing their salaries accounts for “no just cause or crime of theirs.’’
The lecturers include Dr. Lazarus L.Maigoro, Prof. Noel Wannang, Dr. John Gushit, Prof A.S.Shaakaa, Prof. Jeff Godwin Doki, Dr. Jonathan D. Dabak and Dr. Judith Makse Patrick.
The rest are Dr. Esau Nanfwang Mwantu, Dr. Shattah Manjung Akims, Barr. Moses Yusuph, Mrs. Priscilla Queen Kparevzua and Achan Daniel Achan
The aggrieved lecturers through their Counsel, Mr Lawrence Anya, told the court that during 2015 general elections INEC had engaged their services as Ad-hoc staff in various Local Governments which they judiciously executed and were paid.
But that two years after, EFCC arrested them, harassed and froze their individual salary accounts on the guise that the money paid to them by INEC after the election, was from former Petroleum Minister, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke
When the case came up for hearing on Tuesday, Anya told the court that the lecturers have a motion on notice asking for five prayers which include an injunction restraining the EFCC from further violating their fundamental rights and defreeze their individual salary accounts.
They also prayed for the award of N100 million to them as exemplary and aggravated damages for the willful and deliberate harassment, intimidation, degrading treatment and violation of their rights.
The university dons frowned at the way and manner the anti-graft agency expected them to know that the payment made to them after serving INEC was from the former minister or “illicit funds.’’.
“My Lord, we have a second application which also has another five prayers, which we urged the court to grant us especially the defreeze of the accounts of the plaintiffs considering the hardship they and their families are going through as a result of the consequence,” Anya pleaded.
Responding, the EFCC Defense Counsel, Mr Ahmed Munchaka, told the court that he was not ready for the case since he was only coming into the matter.
He applied for the adjournment of the case to enable him study the case since it was a colleague of his, Mr Benjamin Manji, that appeared in the matter at the last sitting.
Justice Kurya however adjourned the case to June 28 for hearing