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Enugu- Federal High Court Takes Over UBA Headquarters
By Chioma Okwu

Eyebrows wiggle as a mild drama stir at the Enugu Headquarters of the United Bank for Africa as bailiffs from the Federal High Court Enugu stormed the bank at Station Road in Okpara Avenue, with policemen to enforce a court judgment against the bank.

The bank's daily activities had commenced peacefully and regularly till at about 10:30 am when the court bailiffs came into the banking premise and asked that all person exits.

Bank staffs and customers hurriedly left to move out their vehicles to avoid being claimed by the court.

Soon after, the bailiffs locked all the entrances to the banking hall and three gates leading into the bank premises, placing an inscription “possession taken by Court Order FHC/EN/M/339/2010.”

It was gathered that the sealing of the bank was to enforce the judgment of the Federal High Court sitting in Enugu, delivered on May 30, 2012, which awarded N5million against the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and United Bank for Africa, UBA for the rights violation of one Eric Emeka Onoh, a security staff of the UBA, Enugu branch who was stripped naked in banking hall. 

The judgment our correspondent obtained, was delivered by Justice Dorothy Agishi in a suit No. FHC/EN/M/339/2010 between EFCC and UBA as defendants and Eric Emeka Onoh as the applicant.

Onoh had through his council Awforkansi Nnadiume, sought the relief of the court on whether the applicant has any right that is protected by Nigeria constitution.

He also asked the court to determine whether the right was infringed upon by the respondents and if the court rules that this right was infringed upon by the respondents, is the applicant entitled to the remedies of N1billion which he was claiming.

The applicant sought an order for the re-opening of his account at Diamond Bank with Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC arbitrary froze. In the application, Onoh asked the court to declare that the torture meted on him by the EFCC on mere suspicion breached his fundamental rights.

But in her judgment, the court held that the applicant (Onoh) has a legal right protected by law and after analyzing the submissions of both the applicant and respondents. The court found that the right of the applicant was infringed upon by all the respondents because of the applicant mentioned in graphic details the roles played by each of the respondents in traumatizing him.

The court noted that the respondents did not deny all the allegations made by the applicant in there submissions.

The court also awarded a compensational damage of N5 million against the respondents jointly and severally and further ordered that the applicant’s account frozen in Diamond Bank to be re-opened.

Justice Agishi, however, regretted the non-inclusion of the police in the matter.

However, the enforcement order is coming after the Appeal Court sitting in Enugu had dismissed the UBA appeal which seeks to set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court.

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