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Detention: Court to decide Fayose’s aide’s N500m suit against EFCC Wednesday

JUSTICE Olukayode Adeniyi of an Abuja High Court will on Wednesday deliver judgment in the N500 million suit filed by Abiodun Agbele, an aide to governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The court had, last week, slated Monday to deliver judgement in the fundamental human rights enforcement suit but could not do that as the judgment was not ready as at yesterday.

Agbele, who claimed in the suit that he had been detained in the custody of the EFCC since June 27, 2016, in respect of an alleged N1.3 billion reportedly traced to the personal account of governor Fayose is challenging his detention without trial since last month by the anti-graft agency.

In the suit filed on his behalf by his counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), Fayose’s aide prayed the Abuja high court to award him a sum of N500 million as compensatory damages for his unlawful arrest and detention by the EFCC.

In the motion on notice filed along with his originating summon, Agbele asked Justice Adeniyi to order his immediate release from EFCC detention.

The suit seeks enforcement of his fundamental rights to freedom of liberty, human dignity and the right to acquire and own properties in line with provisions of the 1999 constitution.

He claimed that unless and except the court comes to his rescue, his rights to freedom of liberty would continue to be trampled upon by EFCC.

Agbele’s counsel, Chief Ozekhome, prayed the court to order the EFCC to release his client on self recognisance or on a very liberal terms, saying that the offences for which his client is being held in EFCC custody are bailable.

He said the EFCC did not state in their counter affidavit that his client embezzled money but that he only paid money into somebody’s account, adding that the anti-graft agency ought to have arraigned his client within 48 hours instead of holding him in detention since June 26, 2016.

Ozekhome said the prosecution has not placed anything before the court to show that his client will jump bail if granted.

In his objection, the prosecution counsel at last week’s proceedings, Andrew Akoja, told the court that the issue of breach of the applicant’s fundamental rights does not arise and that the court should strike out the suit.

He said EFCC investigation had pinned Agbele to the commission of the offences for which he is being held, saying that the applicant was granted bail by the EFCC and that what he ought to have done was to approach the court for variation of the bail conditions, if they were stringent and not to file a fundamental rights enforcement suit against the commission.

He said the alleged violation of the applicant’s right in Lagos does not fall within the jurisdiction of the Abuja High Court and argued further that the applicant has not placed any evidence before the court to warrant the court granting him bail.