Internet celebrity, Ismaila Mustapha, known as Mompha, has filed a fundamental rights enforcement suit against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), alleging unlawful detention and violation of his rights.
He was arrested by the EFCC in October for alleged cybercrime and money laundering related offences.
In the suit dated November 14, and filed before a Lagos high court by his lawyers, including Gboyega Oyewole (SAN), Ademola Adefolaju, Kolawole Salami and four others, Mompha also accused the anti-graft agency of violating his rights.
Mompha is urging the court to award N5m against the EFCC for detaining him beyond the constitutionally-allowed period without being charged to court and also court order directing the commission to release him unconditionally forthwith from its custody.
He prayed the court to order the EFCC to either immediately charge him to court or release him if it was not ready to charge him to court.
His lawyer, Mr Gboyega Oyewole (SAN), said his client, as a Nigerian, was entitled to the protection of his fundamental rights under sections 34, 35 and 36 of the 1999 Constitution.
Oyewole said his client was arrested on October 19 at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja by the EFCC which accused him of money laundering.
He said the remand order which the EFCC obtained to keep Mompha had since expired and he ought to be released.
In a 20-paragraph supporting affidavit, one Olumuyiwa Ajidagba claimed that “the applicant (Mompha) has been subjected to physical, mental and psychological torture in the underground cell of the EFCC’s detention centre.”
The court has yet to fix any date to hear the case.
The EFCC had said in October that it arrested the Internet celebrity in Abuja on his way to Dubai, based on “actionable cross-border intelligence received from collaborative law enforcement agencies about his alleged involvement in criminal activities.”