A Federal High Court in Abuja, has dismissed a suit by oil and gas services firm, Marine Assets and Offshore Equipment Limited, to stop its investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).Justice Bolaji Olajuwon, in a judgment, said that the suit instituted by the company and its General Manager, Olusegun Olaleye, lacked merit.

Olajuwon held that there was no merit in the case that sought to restrain the EFCC from investigating the payment of huge sums into the plaintiffs’ bank accounts by some firms for unknown reasons.

It was reported that the firm and Olaleye had filed the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1529/2020 to restrain the anti-corruption agency from investigating them. The Judge disagreed with the lawyer to the plaintiffs, Mike Ozekhome, SAN, that the investigation of the plaintiffs’ activities by the anti-graft agency amounted to harassment, and was unlawful. She, however, agreed with counsel for the EFCC, Ekele Iheanacho, that allegations of economic and financial crimes were established against the plaintiffs and others, which required the activation of the powers of the agency to conduct investigation into their activities.
She further held that contrary to the plaintiffs’ argument, the EFCC could investigate tax evasion within its powers to investigate economic and financial crimes. The judge rejected all the reliefs sought by the plaintiffs and dismissed it for being unmeritorious.

It was reported that the EFCC had claimed to be investigating them and others for conspiracy, money laundering and stealing in relation to about 38,198,624.08 dollars paid into Marine Assets’ accounts within four months.
It stated that on Jan. 25, 2019, it received intelligence “bordering on monumental case of conspiracy, money laundering and stealing against the 1st plaintiff (Marine Assets), its alter ego and some other associated companies and individuals.“The intelligence reveals that the 1st plaintiff, its directors alongside other companies like Airsafe Aviation Global Limited, used multiple accounts to move funds in and out of Nigeria to the tune of 38,198,624.08 dollars between September, 2017 and December, 2018, without any clear underlying/legitimate business transaction.“

Babatunde Tiamiyu

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