N60bn fraud: Court turns down Omisore’s bail application
- Says detention is in order
JUSTICE Olukayode Adeniyi of a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja on Friday turned down the bail application of the former deputy governor of Osun State, Iyiola Omisore, presently in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for alleged fraud of N60 billion.
Justice Adeniyi, in a ruling he delivered yesterday, held that Omisore’s application for bail is premature and incompetent.
The Judge asked the former Osun State deputy governor to await the expiration of the 14 days remand order granted by a court of co-ordinate jurisdiction before exercising his right to bail, adding that, any attempt to grant the bail application of the applicant will be tantamount to vacating a subsisting order made by the same court.
He said Omisore’s counsel failed to convince the court of its power under the law to upturn its own order and sit as an appellate court on its own order.
According to the Judge, the provisions of section 293, 294 and 296 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015 is so clear and makes it lawful for the EFCC to detain a suspect for initial 14 days and another 14 days, if circumstances warrant.
In the instant case, the Judge said the court lacks jurisdiction to set aside the order it made for the remand of Omisore or vary the bail condition granted him by the EFCC and that the Applicant ought to appeal against the ruling instead of asking for reversal of its own order.
“Having considered the totality of submissions of counsel in this matter, it has been established that there is a reasonable cause to remand the applicant in the custody in line with the provisions of the law.
“At any rate, there is no provision for entertainment of any application for bail when the remand order issued by the court subsists. In order words, the 14 days remand order granted by the court is to run its full course”, the Judge held.
Adeniyi said it is right that the court has power to admit a suspect on bail when sufficient reasons are adduced, but the court must be guided by law as in the instant case.
Omisore had asked the Court to grant him bail pending the determination of his motion on notice filed against the anti-graft agency.
Omisore who was the chairman, Senate committee on appropriation claimed that EFCC had detained him beyond the period allowed in law.
In the suit instituted by his counsel, Chris Uche (SAN), for the enforcement of his fundamental rights, Omisore claimed that his rights was been trampled upon by the EFCC with his arrest without trial.
Uche also said the warrant of arrest obtained by EFCC to arrest and detain Omisore was a mere authority and also argued that the warrant of arrest and the remand was obtained long after the former deputy governor had been in custody.
He said that the remand order cannot rob the court of its statutory jurisdiction to entertain application and to exercise jurisdiction in favour of the applicant.
Uche informed the court that Omisore was arrested on July 3 while the warrant to arrest and detain him was obtained on July 8, a clear five days after his detention without court order.
The applicant counsel cited section 35 of the Constitution, which prescribed a maximum of two days to detain a suspect and charge him to court if found to have committed any offence and urged the court to admit Omisore on bail pending his arraignment and the court to order his production in court anytime his matter comes up.
EFCC’s Counsel, Takon Ezekiel opposed the bail request on the ground that the warrant of arrest and the detention obtained from court permitted his detention for 14 days to enable EFCC Complete investigation into the allegations.
EFCC also told the court that Omisore was lawfully arrested because section 35 of the Constitution allows the liberty of individuals to be deprived where there is a good suspicion that a crime has been committed.
In the instance matter, EFCC submitted that hundreds of millions of naira were paid into the account of Omisore through UBA and diamond banks by the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) without just cause.
Besides, EFCC Counsel also claimed that billions of naira were also paid from the National Assembly fund to Omisore’s account and that with overwhelming evidence and documents obtained from Bank and that EFCC needs more time for interrogation.