Court Restrains EFCC, IG from Arresting Okereke-Onyiuke



Justice Morenike Obadina of the Lagos High Court yesterday restrained the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Inspector General of Police (IG) and the Lagos State Commissioner of Police from arresting and detaining Prof. Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke following her removal as the Director General (DG) of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).


The order was sequel to the ex-parte application brought by Okereke-Onyiuke which was argued by her counsel, Chief Robert Clarke (SAN).


Justice Obadina, in addition, ordered that the status quo ante be maintained by the respondents pending the hearing of the motion on notice filed by the former NSE boss.


Besides, the court ordered her counsel to serve the originating motion on all the respondents who have five days under the Fundamental Human Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules, 2009 to file their response.


The judge then adjourned till August 19 for hearing of the motion on notice.


In an 18-paragraph affidavit in support of the motion she personally deposed to, Okereke-Onyiuke averred that since January 4, 1983 she had been in the services of the NSE as Manager (Researcher), adding that since 2000, she had been the DG and Chief Executive Officer of the NSE.


She also averred that on August 4, 2010 at about 6pm, respondent (SEC) dumped a letter at her office through the company secretary captioned “Notice of Removal of the Director General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange”.


According to her, SEC used men of the Nigerian Police and other heavily armed law enforcement agents to prevent her from having access to her office at the Stock Exchange.


In addition, she stated that the capital market regulatory agency announced her removal as DG of the NSE to the whole world without recourse to due process, adding that since her removal, series of strange faces both in mufti and uniform, strange vehicles either of the police or EFCC had been parading her residence.


Besides, she stated that she had received countless unknown calls threatening her life, movement, property and to arrest and detain her accordingly.


Specifically, Okereke-Onyiuke revealed that on Saturday, August 5, two black unregistered Highlander Toyota SUVs paraded her street repeatedly, with their mission unknown and prayed the court to intervene and protect her fundamental human rights in the interest of justice.


The sacked NSE boss had last Friday instituted a legal action against SEC at the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, seeking for N3 billion damages following her removal by the DG of SEC, Ms. Arunma Oteh, last week.


She is also seeking for a declaration nullifying her removal, stating that the removal was in utter violation and breach of the provisions of Investments and Securities Act (ISA) which spelt out terms of appointment of the plaintiff and the termination of same.


Oteh had said the commission’s action was in line with the provisions of the ISA 2007, which according to her lays responsibility for safeguarding the interest of investors on SEC.


Source: Thisday


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