Court orders Nexim Bank to pay ex-MD N50m over wrongful arrest, detention

A former Managing Director of NEXIM Bank, Mr Orya Roberts, has been awarded the sum of N50,000,000.00 (Fifty Million Naira) by a Benue State High Court, presided over by Honourable Justice M.A. Ikpambese.

The verdict which was given in a suit No. MHC 2393 2020 was instituted by Orya Roberts Ngwagwa who was applicants against six respondents.

The sum which was awarded against NEXIM Bank was against the backdrop of alleged instigation, wrongful arrest and detention.

The six respondents in the suit are the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Inspector General of Police (IGP), Departments of State Security (DSS), Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) and Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM Bank.)

In addition, the Honourable Court held that the above Respondents do not have the right to invade and search the home of the Applicant (Roberts Orya) without a search warrant and without an order of court.

The Court declared that the threat to seizure and confiscation of the property of the Applicant (Roberts Orya) is wrongful, illegal, null and void and a breach of his right to own movable property.

The Court further held that the constant harassment, threats to arrest, intimidation of the Applicant by the Respondents is illegal, and a breach of his Fundamental Human Rights.

Justice Ikpambese also held that the perpetual investigation of the Applicant without charging him to Court by multiple security outfits (including EFCC, Police, ICPC, DSS, and CCB) amounts to breach of Roberts Orya’s fundamental human rights.

The court held further that the Applicant Roberts Orya is entitled to counsel of his choice upon arrest and he is entitled to be charged to Court within a reasonable time as stipulated by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The Court therefore, granted an order of perpetual injunction restraining the Respondents: EFCC, IGP, DSS, ICPC, CCB and NEXIM from further invading the dwelling of Roberts Orya, and or any form of confiscation of his  property.

The Court also gave an order of Perpetual Injunction restraining NEXIM Bank, its agents and privies from further intimidation of Orya Roberts (a former MD of NEXIM Bank) by multiplicity of petitions against him to the 1st 2nd 3rd 4th and 5th Respondents. 

The court also directed the Respondents to tender public apology to Roberts Orya to be published in Five National Dailies. 

In dismissing all the preliminary objections brought by the EFCC, DSS, ICPC and NEXIM Bank, the Court agreed with the submission of Roberts Orya’s Lawyer M.S Agaku Esq and resolved all the issues raised in the consolidated objections in favour of the Applicant. 

The Court found the arrest and detention of Orya Roberts by EFCC, IGP, DSS, ICPC, CCB to be multiple and duplication of same set of facts without a legal foundation.

The Court declared that “it is trite law that where the arrest and detention of a person are unlawful and unconstitutional any subsequent arraignment of that person before a court of law cannot and would not cure the illegality or unconstitutionality.”

The court also issued a stern warning against NEXIM Bank led by Abba Bello to desist from using the institutions established by the Federal Government of Nigeria to witch hunt Mr. Orya Roberts in the guise of statutory powers.

The court however, refused to grant cost of litigation against the respondent. 

At the session, S Agaku Esq. represented the Applicant, G.G Chia Yakua Esq. appeared for EFCC while also holding the brief of Along Bako Esq. for ICPC, M.S Hassan Esq. for DSS and J.T Garba Esq. for NEXIM Bank.

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