Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday removed the name of billionaire businessman and founder of AITEO Group, Mr. Benedict Peters, from the Agency’s list of Wanted Persons, Barrister Offor Dile, New Media Adviser to Mr. Benedict Peters, said on Tuesday
He said the list was published by the agency on its official website.
This action, he said, is believed to be in compliance with the judgment of the High Court of the FCT of Nigeria delivered by Justice Othman Musa on March 22, 2018 where the Court ordered the anti-corruption agency to immediately remove the name of the billionaire businessman from their wanted persons’ list published on the its website.
It will be recalled that on the 15th of August 2016, the EFCC declared Mr. Peters wanted in connection with an ongoing investigation (though the court has since declared him innocent of those allegations) without first following all the laid down procedures which led Peters to approach the High Court to seek redress for the injustice done to him.
In the landmark ruling delivered on the 22nd of March 2018, the learned Justice Othman Musa agreed that the EFCC had powers to declare somebody wanted but that it must be done in strict compliance with the rule of law and order of the court and since the action was done in violation of the provisions of the law thereby hurting and infringing on the rights of Mr. Benedict Peters, the judge declared the declaration of Peters as a wanted person/the uploading of his data on the website of the EFCC as unconstitutional and void.
The judge ordered EFCC to remove the name of the Billionaire businessman from their website where wanted persons list are uploaded immediately.
The EFCC did not comply with the order for months until today when the agency in what is seen by many as a great improvement in the rule of law records of President Buhari govt and the leadership of the EFCC under Ibrahim Magu, removed the name of the Billionaire businessman Benedict peters from the list of wanted persons on the EFCC website.
Lawyers and civil society activists, especially, Arewa consultative youth Movement, Ohanaeze Youth Movement, and Youth Council applauded President Muhammadu Buhari, Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN) and the EFCC led by Ibrahim Magu for igniting the fire of submission to the principle of rule of law with their decision to comply with the order of the court by removing the name of African billionaire businessman Benedict Peters from the EFCC list of wanted person.
They described the EFCC’s action as a great confidence-building step for the Buhari-led Federal govt and a plus in Magu’s quest to run an efficient agency rooted in the sacred principles of rule of law.
But contacted on the development, the agency’s spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, neither confirmed, nor denied the development.
He, however, referred METROWATCH to a colleague of his who he simply identified as Tony.