A Bauchi High Court has restrained the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from tempering with public properties of the Bauchi State government or doing anything capable of disrupting the smooth running of the affected government offices and companies pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.
EFCC had shut down one of the public properties sold by the Bauchi State government to investigate alleged misconduct.
Chief Judge of the State, Justice Rabi Talatu Umar who presided over the case further directed the EFCC to remove the defacement it painted on the wall of the premises of the Bauchi State Environmental Protection Agency (BASEPA).
In the ruling of the motion SUIT NO: BA/326/2022 between the Bauchi State Government, Bauchi State Environmental Protection Agency (BASEPA), and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC), the Court ordered, “An order granted restraining the respondent from tempering with property No. 10, Sokoto Road, Old GRA, Bauchi belonging to the plaintiff or doing any other thing capable of disrupting the smooth running of affairs of BASEPA as well as Zaranda Hotel Bauchi and Wikki Hotels, Bauchi, Bauchi State pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.”
“That order of this Hon. The court is granted directing the defendant/respondent to remove forthwith the mark inscription put on the Plaintiffs/Applicants premises No. 10, Sokoto road, Old GRA Bauchi, Zaranda Hotel along Jos Road, Bauchi and Wikki Hotels, Yakubun Bauchi Road, Bauchi, Bauchi State pending the hearing and determination of Motion on Notice”.
“That the return date for the hearing of Motion on Notice is 9th day of November 2022”, the Court further ordered.
Meanwhile, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Governor, Mukhtar Gidado has reacted to the action of EFCC, saying that the antigraft agency had no basis in law to shut down the premises of the sold public property.
He said: “The Bauchi State government being a law-abiding Government, knowing fully well that the actions were illegal as there was no basis whatsoever in law and fact that would warrant painting its property by the EFCC, sought for the intervention of the court of law.
“Government wishes to inform its citizens that the Court after listening to the points raised by Government granted an injunction restraining EFCC”.
“The court has agreed that the actions of the EFCC are prima facie illegal and they are to appear before the court on the 9th of November 2022 to explain why they took this unwarranted action meant to destroy the economy of the state at a time when the government is doing everything possible to grow the Internally Generated Revenue(IGR) of the state and to continue with its developmental projects for the betterment of its people”, the release further contained.
“We note that all these brazen invasions are coming days before the opposition party launched its gubernatorial campaign in the state. Perhaps the EFCC, knowing that the opposition party has nothing to offer in the state decided to provide it with a talking point. More so as the EFCC is fully aware that the state has established its Anti Corruption Commission following which it wrote to the EFCC informing it.”