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Court orders immediate release of Adegbe, ex-Jonathan’s aide

•Blasts EFCC for becoming ‘police station’

From Godwin Tsa, Abuja

A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory [FCT] yesterday ordered the immediate release of former aide-de-camp (ADC) to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Col. Ojogbane Adegbe, from the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] pending his arraignment on any offence he may have committed.

Col. Adegbe had sued the Fed-eral Government to enforce his fundamen-tal rights being allegedly violated by the EFCC.

According to the Motion on Notice filed by his counsel, Chief  Ogwu Onoja (SAN), dated February 16, Adegbe is asking the court to order the government to pay him N100 million as gen-eral damages for detaining him unlawfully since February 11, 2016.

He prayed the court to declare that Adegbe’s arrest and continued detention since Feb-ruary 11, is unconstitutional as it offends his right to personal liberty as guaranteed by Section 35 of the 1999 Constitution.

Delivering his ruling on the application, Justice Yusuf Halilu slammed the EFCC for detaining the applicant for more than 48 hours without charging him to court, saying the anti-graft agency has no such powers to do so.

Justice Halilu, who frowned at the attempts by the EFCC turning itself into a “police station,’ noted that the agency has a legal obligation to act within the ambit of the law and to treat people decently.

Adegbe filed the suit on grounds that his arrest and con-tinued detention violate his rights to personal lib-erty and freedom of movement as guaranteed by Sections 35 and 41of the 1999 Constitution and Articles 5, 6, and 12 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.

A supporting affidavit deposed to by one Michael David Adegbe, his younger brother, stated that Col. Adegbe had been in EFCC’s custody since February 11, and had been denied administrative bail by the commission.

The deponent stated that the detainee after leaving office, was sent on a military course in the United Kingdom.

The affidavit stated that having been summoned by the military authorities, Adegbe returned to Nigeria on February 10, this year, and was handed over to the EFCC for question-ing.

Michael said, “despite making his statement on that same day, the EFCC continued to detain the applicant in its custody and has refused to grant him bail or charge him to court.

He claimed that the case against the applicant as insinuated from interrogation and questions put to him relate to his military official duties in receiving con-cealed messages from the Office of the National Security Adviser and delivering them to persons on Jonathan’s instructions.

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One Comment

  1. YOU SEE PART OF THE REASON NIGERIA IS CALLED A ZOO..HOW CAN EFCC TO TURN INTO DETENTION CENTER,WHERE PEOPLE WILL BE ILLEGAL HELD WHILE THEY LOOK FOR EVIDENCE TO CHARGE PEOPLE TO COURT.

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