N100m suit slammed on Dangote refinery over unlawful detention

Aliko Dangote, President of Dangote Group is a member of CA-COVID
Aliko Dangote, President of Dangote Group is a member of CA-COVID
Aliko Dangote
Aliko Dangote, President of Dangote Group

A Federal high court sitting in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria has adjourned till Wednesday, 26th of July, 2017, N100million suit filed against Dangote Refinery Limited by one of its aggrieved staff Mrs Martina Amosu.

Joined as co-respondent is Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

According to an affidavit sworn to by the father of the applicant Mr Martin Ushie and filed before the court by a Lagos lawyer Barrister Temitope Elusogbon, the deponent averred that her daughter was employed as the head of the Accounts for Dangote Refinery limited and she has been acting in that capacity since 2011.

In the course of her employment the company periodically pays money into her personal account for onward disbursements to external contractors/beneficiaries and other people in accordance with the company’s instructions.

Early this year the company complained that there was double approval to pay contractors and this led to double payment, as a result of the fore going, the company instructed the contractors who have been paid twice to remit the excess payment back into the applicant’s account.

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Some of the contractors have done so, while others are yet to remit the said excess.

Thereafter Dangote Refinery Company instructed the applicant to forward details of her personal account for scrutiny which she declined as the details of her personal bank account is personal and private information which the company has no right to request or demand.

In the light of this the company laid a complaint with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission alleging that he has diverted its funds.

On Friday 30th of June 2017, she was arrested, the applicant forcefully entered her house threatened and harassed members of her family.

Thereafter her house was searched without warrant.

The EFCC officials threatened to arrest her husband and make life miserable for her little children, the applicant since then has been in custody of EFCC till date.

The applicant’s lawyer Mr Elusogbon requested for bail on her behalf on Saturday 1st of July, 2017, when the bail conditions were given, they were outrageous, unfavorable and impossible for the applicant to meet according to her lawyer.

Mr Elusogbon has since asked the bail conditions to be varied, but the EFCC officials stated that before the bail conditions can be varied the applicant must pay the sum of N34million which must be done via bank draft.

Mr Ushie further averred that the money paid into the personal account of the applicant by the company were disbursed in line with the instructions of the company, but the company has failed to do an auditor reconciliation of its account and the monies disbursed rather they were trying to intimidate or coerce the applicant into paying for their mistakes.

Mr Ushie also averred that her daughter told her that all the documents relevant to a proper reconciliation of the accounts are with the company, and reconciliation is the only way the matter can be resolved and not keeping her in the EFCC cell at Ikoyi.

Consequently, the applicant is urging the court not only to declare her arrest and detention illegal, but to also declare that the bail conditions stipulated for her by EFCC are unfair and unreasonable.

In addition the applicant while demanding for N100million as damages for the trauma caused by the action of the respondents urged the court to order her release from the custody of EFCC on such terms as may be specify by the court.

When the case was mentioned, the presiding judge Professor Chuka Obiozor while adjoining till Wednesday 26th of July, 2017 for hearing ordered the applicant to serve all the court process on both the EFCC and Dangote Refinery Limited.