A federal high court sitting in Makurdi has ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and two banks to jointly pay N100 million to the Benue state government as damages for freezing its accounts.
Delivering judgement on Tuesday, Mobolaji Olajuwon, the judge, asked the anti-graft agency to pay the government N50 million, while each of the banks is to pay N25 million, over the restriction imposed on the accounts of Benue last year.
He, therefore, declared the action of the EFCC as illegal, null and void, adding that the order issued by EFCC to the affected banks to freeze the state accounts was not earlier obtained from a federal high court.
The court also granted an order of perpetual injunction restraining EFCC from further freezing the state accounts domiciled in financial institutions.
The accounts were frozen after Ortom defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
But Ortom had denied the allegation, claiming he was being witch-hunted for dumping the APC.
The state government, had through the office of Micheal Gusa, Benue’s attorney general and commissioner for justice, approached the court challenging the legality of the EFCC’s action.