Mrs. Abiodun Ibitola, Managing Director, Remdel Optimum Communications Limited, has sought anorder of a Lagos High Court to declare as unconstitutional her arrest and detention by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, over a simple contract issue between her company and one Alhaji Tajudeen Bioku.
Similarly, Mrs. Ibitola has also petitioned EFCC Chairman, Mrs. Farida Waziri, and Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Muhammed Bello Adoke, to intervene in the matter, for the protection of her fundamental human rights.
Mrs Ibitola is also praying the court to restrain EFCC and Bioku from her further harassment, arrest and or detention as well to prevent EFCC from forceful demand, seizure and taking into custody of the master tape of “Angeli Mi”.
The suit followed her detention by EFCC on account of alleged irregularities on the part of Remdel Optimum Communication Limited in the sale of “Angeli Mi” by gospel singer, Mrs. Tope Alabi, which the company has the right to sell under the Master License Agreement entered into with Bioku.
Bioku alleged that the company had sold 20 million copies of the album while investigations conducted by EFCC from replicating companies showed that the album sold only about 600,000 copies in the three years of the contractual agreement between Remdel and Bioku.
But, acting on Bioku’s petition, EFCC swooped on the Akure residence of Mrs. Ibitola and arrested her.
She was taken to Lagos and detained forhours before her bail was secured.
It was gathered that while investigations by EFCC showed that the account of Bioku was incorrect, EFCC had embarked on efforts at retrieving the master tape of the said album by Tope Alabi for the petitioner which was a violation of the agreement signed by the two parties – Remdel Optimum Communication Limited and Bioku.
Other orders sought from the court by Ibitola include a declaration that the demand for the master tape of the album by EFCC for Bioku be declared null and void.
The reliefs sought by Ibitola against the first respondent (Bioku) and second respondent (EFCC) as contained in the suit read in part:
“A declaration that the arrest of the applicant by the second respondent as procured by the first respondent, on July 13,2011 over a simple contract between the applicant and the first respondent is unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and in violation of the applicant’s fundamental right to personal liberty as guaranteed by Section 35 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999.
“A declaration that the demand by the second respondent forthe master tape of the album titled “Angeli mi” towards recovery of same for and on behalf of the first respondent which master tape is in possession of the applicant pursuant to a contractual engagement with the first respondent is ultra vires the second respondent, gross abuse of powers by the second respondent and in violation of the applicant’s right to property.
“An order of this Honourable court restraining the respondents severally and jointly, whether by themselves, their servants, agents and/or persons acting for or on their behalf either jointly or severally, from furtherharassment, arrest and/or detention of the applicant.
“An order of this Honourable Court restraining the second respondent, whether by itself, servants, agents and/or persons acting for or on behalf of the first respondent from demanding or forceful seizure of or taking custody of the mastertape of “Angeli Mi” in possession of the applicant pursuant to a simple contractual agreement between the applicant and the first respondent.
“Compensation in the sum of N10,000,000 against the respondents for the aforesaid illegal and unconstitutional violation of the applicant’s fundamental rights.”