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FCT Chief Judge smacks EFCC over Rights’ Abuses

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“I understand that EFCC has been bringing some cases to you and you have been granting them remand orders. You must no longer do this from today,” – Justice Bello

Olisa Metuh has been a guest of the EFCC  for over a week

FCT Chief Judge, Justice Ishaq Bello, has condemned the arbitrary manner the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is abusing the constitution of the country.

Justice Bello made the observation during his visit to the Keffi Medium prison in Keffi, Nasarawa State, on Tuesday.

He, therefore, warned FCT magistrates to stop granting remand orders to the EFCC on irregular allegations including serious crimes as armed robbery, murder and other capital offences.

An apparent case is the one involving the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh.

Seemingly above the law, the EFCC played the prosecutor, Judge and Jury with boundless right to give or refuse bail. 

Speaking on its reason for refusing to release Mr. Metuh, the EFCC spokesman, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, said that Metuh’s continued detention was due to his refusal to refund or sign an undertaking to refund the N1.2 billion linked to him in the arms scandal.

It said that the publicity secretary would be released as soon as he satisfied the bail conditions, making reference to the case of the All Progressives Congress [APC] Chieftain, Jafaru Isa.

The commission said it had obtained a detention warrant from a Magistrates’ Court in the FCT to enable it keep Metuh in its custody pending the conclusion of its investigation.

The judge smacked EFCC for relying on FCT Magistrates’ Courts to issue remand warrants to justify its continued detention of suspects under investigation for corruption and other economic crimes.

Mr. Bello also expressed concern over the large number of the awaiting trial inmates in the prison. 

He further reminded Magistrates’ Courts that they should not entertain cases on capital offences, including armed robbery and murder.

“I understand that EFCC has been bringing some cases to you and you have been granting them remand orders. You must no longer do this from today,” he said.

“You must not arraign people for offences such armed robbery, murder and other capital offences before magistrates’ courts which they don’t have competence to handle.”

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