Lawyer drags EFCC to court over physical assault
An Abuja based constitutional lawyer, Chief Felix Edewor, has dragged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to court over a physical assault on him by an operative of the commission, Mr. Mohammed Mohammed.
The EFCC official, Mohammed, pounced on Chief Edewor, slapped him severally when he went to the commission to request for the sum of N14 million belonging to the FRCN Headquarters staff cooperative society being held by the agancy.
Counsel to Chief Felix Edewor, Dr. Emeka Obegolu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, in his originating summons, argued that the act by the EFCC and its official was an infringement of the fundamental human Rights of the lawyer.
The case has been scheduled for hearing at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory on 7th March.
In the originating summons made available to newsmen by Dr. Obegolu SAN, in Abuja, the EFCC and Mr. Mohammed are the first and second respondents in the matter.
Dr. Obegolu said the motion is “brought pursuant to section 33 and 34 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, FRN as ammeneded, articles 2,3,4 and 5 of the Peoples’ Rights (ratification and enforcement) Act cap AGO vol. 1 laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2011, order 11 Rule 1 of the fundamental rights enforcement procedure) rules, 2009 and under the inherent jurisdiction of this honourable court”
The Senior Advocate is seeking the court to declare that “the unprovoked physical and brutal assault unleashed on Chief Edewor in the presence of other persons by Mr. Mohammed on the 4th day of October, 2022, in the discharge of his official duties at the EFCC office by slapping him repeatedly and hitting him at the back of his head multiple times leading to severe brain damage that resulted in swollen eyes, swollen face and fainting spells, elevated blood pressure and hypertension constitutes a grave violation of the fundamental right of the applicant to life as guaranteed under Section 33 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and Articles 2 & 4 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (CAP AQ) VOL. | Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2011”
“A declaration that the unprovoked physical and brutal assault constitutes a grave violation of the fundamental right of the applicant to dignity of his person as guaranteed under Section 34 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and Articles 2 & 5 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (CAF AQ) VOL. | Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2011”
In his letter of complaint to the EFCC Directorate of Internal Affairs, Chief Edewor expressed shock that while beating him up, the EFCC operative, Mr. Mohammed said loudly, “this is Nigeria, I can do anything to you and nothing will happen.”
Before the assault, Chief Edewor had written a protest letter to the management of EFCC on the 15th of June 2022 which he complained about “the conduct of the Investigation Officer (IO) Mr Mohammed Mohammed via a letter dated 15th June, 2022 and titled “We Remonstrate against manifest bias, coercion, intimidation and abuse of human Right visited on Comrade Victorson Agbenson, the president of the FRCN HQ Cooperative Society Ltd by Mr. Mohammed Mohammed and his team under the Guise of ‘ investigation”.
It was this protest against the alleged bias and high-handedness of the EFCC operative that provoked his physical assault on the lawyer, Chief Felix Edewor on the 4th of October 2022.