Court dismisses Globacom’s N50 million suit against EFCC

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A Lagos Division of the Lagos State High Court has dismissed a N50 million suit brought against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission by telecommunication giant, Globacom.

The judge, Wasiu Animashaun, in his judgment also awarded N150,000 legal costs against Globacom and its head of marketing, Ashok Israni, to each of the three respondents.

Joined as respondents in the suit are the EFCC; Emitac Mobile Solutions; and Kadiri Thomas, an EFCC investigator.

“There is a reasonable suspicion that an offence of obtaining by false pretence has been committed,” said the judge.

“A reasonable suspicion that an offence has been committed is a justification to infringe the right guaranteed under Chapter IV of the Constitution.

“Consequently, I hold that the originating notice of motion dated July 19 fails and is hereby dismissed with N150,000 costs in favour of each set of the respondents.”

Mr. Israni and Globacom had filed a suit against the EFCC and a Dubai-based firm, Emitac Mobile Solutions, before the court, seeking to stop the investigation on a petition written against it by the firm.

They urged the court to restrain the anti-graft agency, and Mr. Thomas from making any enquiry and criminalising a civil contract it had with the foreign firm. They also demanded N50 million as damages for the unlawful arrest and detention of Mr. Israni.

The plaintiffs further argued that the issues between the telecommunication company and the foreign firm were purely ”contractual and a framework agreement clearly provided modalities to address any disagreement.”

But according to Emitac Mobile Solutions, Globacom failed to pay it $6.6 million being the balance for the provision of Blackberry Solutions (BIS) to Glo’s mobile users and, as a result, caused the winding up of its Nigerian operations and retrenchment of 95 per cent of its staff.

The firm also accused Globacom of making it render service to it under false pretence.

On its part, the EFCC said it was only performing its statutory obligation based on a petition of fraudulent practices levelled against the telecommunication company.

 

 




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