Court orders EFCC to pay pastor, wife N10m for unlawfully declaring them wanted

A Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, has fined the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for declaring Pastor Oyinmiebi Biribena and his wife, Pastor Beatrice Biribena, wanted without a valid court order.

Justice Dashen awarded the sum of N10 million (Ten Million Naira) as damages against the anti-graft agency in favour of Biribena, the pastor in charge of the Christ Embassy Church in Kumasi, Ghana.

According to the court, a publication by EFCC on June 8, 2022, declaring the cleric and his wife, wanted without a valid court order, is unjustified, unlawful and unconstitutional.

The judge also gave an order directing and compelling the EFCC to offer a public apology to Biribena and his wife for the unlawful publication declaring them wanted without a valid court order.

The court equally issued an order restraining EFCC from inviting, harassing, arresting and detaining the plaintiffs, pending the determination of the suit (No. FHC/YNG/CS/125/2022) between Bliss Multinational Perfections Limited and another versus EFCC.

In the case between Bliss Multinational Perfections Limited and Οyinmiebi Biribena versus EFCC, Justice Dashen, while ruling on the Originating Summons filed on June 7, 2022, granted some declarations in favour of the plaintiffs against EFCC.

The judge declared EFCC’s seizure and sealing of the jointly-owned properties of Bliss Multinational Perfections Limited and Oyinmiebi Biribena, situated at No. 57, Green Villa Road, Biogbolo, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, as wrongful and unlawful.

The court issued an order of perpetual injunction directing and compelling EFCC to refrain from inviting, arresting, detaining and harassing the plaintiffs over disputes arising from transactions with Baraza Multipurpose Cooperative Society.

However, instead of the N100 million requested by the plaintiffs, the court granted the sum of N10 million only as exemplary damages against EFCC.

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