A Federal Capital Territory High Court in Jabi, Abuja, has ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to immediately grant bail to a former Aide de Camp to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Col. Ojogbane Adegbe, on liberal terms.
Justice Yusuf Halilu, ruling on a fundamental human rights enforcement suit filed by Adegbe on Tuesday, however, refused the plaintiff’s prayer for N100m compensation for unlawful detention by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and request for written apology from the anti-graft agency.
Meanwhile, before the judge started delivering his ruling on Tuesday, Adegbe’s lawyer, Mr. Ogwu Onoja (SAN), informed the court that the EFCC after the hearing of the suit on February 25, transferred the ex-President’s ADC from its custody to the Army.
Ogwu also said that after the hearing, the EFCC which claimed it was only holding Adegbe on the instruction of the Army, decided to grant bail to his client in conditions that were allegedly impossible to meet.
But EFCC’s lawyer, Benda Musu, when asked to respond to the plaintiff’s lawyer’s claim, said she did not have more knowledge about the said transfer than the SAN had.
The judge however went on to deliver his ruling declaring as unconstitutional and illegal the detention of the applicant since February 11 without filing charges against him.
The judge also reprimanded the anti-graft agency for “reducing itself to the police station or detention centre of the Nigerian Army”.
He observed that the EFCC took contradictory positions by claiming that it was investigating alleged arms procurement fraud for which Adegbe was arrested and in another breath claimed to be holding the plaintiff on the instruction of the Army.
“While respondent (EFCC) is dancing makossa in one side, it is singing another song on the other side,” the judge noted.
The judge however said he was unable to direct the EFCC to pay damages to the applicant or tender apology to him, since he remained in the service of the Army and the anti-graft agency was equally a government agency.