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Court awards N3.5m damages to Abia journalist in suit against EFCC



Norah Okafor

An Abia journalist, Norah Okafor, has been awarded N3.5 million damages in a lawsuit against the Economic and Financial Crime Commission.

The judgement was  delivered in favor of Okafor by a Federal High Court sitting in Umuahia on Monday, March 14, 2022.

According to Okafor, operatives of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission had invaded her residence on the night of 23rd September, 2021.

The operatives reportedly met her naked, ransacked her house and destroyed her personal properties.

In the judgement, the EFCC was also ordered to tender a public apology to Okafor, which will be published on two national dailies.

“It is justice not only for me, but Nigeria journalists who stood by and testified for me”, she said in an interview with The Punch.

Sharing her experience, she said, “At one point in time, I felt demoralised when the spokesperson of the EFCC kept saying that they didn’t do that and that I was just trying to trend for no reason, but then I tried to make him understand that their guys did this and at the end of the day, they said that it was a case of mistaken identity.

“All I had expected was for them to, maybe, apologize and say, ‘let the sleeping dog lie”.

Explaining further, the Abia journalist said, “I didn’t go to court because I had money to do something extraordinary, but I wanted to prove a point that I have a right.

“It was all about the invasion of privacy. They invaded my house at the wee hours of the night and met me naked. The trauma alone wasn’t funny.

“When they came, I thought they were criminals, armed robbers and I was shocked and at the end of the day, they were just EFCC officials who came to ransack my house. For what reason and why don’t they investigate? They would have at least done their investigation properly before embarking on their mid-night raid”.

The reporter who worked with Modern Communication Limited Radio Government House Umuahia said the raid didn’t make sense, lamenting, “Even if I am not a journalist, but a normal Nigerian, wherever the person is, many of them have been stomaching this and they (EFCC) would go scot free.

“I am happy that I have gotten justice at last. For me, it is not about the money, it is about the fact that I got justice and this justice, I hope, will trickle down to others who may also have faced similar treatment and who may have been waiting for such judgment and which is taking time to come”.

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