A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mike Ozekhome, has condemned the continued detention of a former Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke.
He also took a swipe at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for failing to release his client – Adoke – after the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court granted him bail.
“It is disheartening that despite meeting the bail conditions imposed by the court, since the 30th of January 2020, the EFCC is still holding our client in permanent custody, till date,” the SAN said in a statement forwarded to Channels Television on Thursday.
He added, “This has further jeopardised his very poor and fragile health. The court had actually taken Adoke’s ill health into consideration in making the order for his release, with certain bail conditions.”
“From the foregoing, it is crystal clear to any discerning observer that our client is no more being prosecuted, but is being persecuted, by the EFCC, which has, by this singular act, now constituted itself into an institution that acts above courts of law.
“It now deploys unbridled powers to choose and/or decide (as in this particular case), whether or not to obey valid and extant orders made by courts of competent jurisdiction,” Ozekhome alleged.
According to him, such a situation is unhealthy for the nation’s democracy and constitutes an unnecessary invitation to chaos and anarchy.
Adoke’s lawyer insisted that his client has fulfilled the conditions for his bail and upon presenting the release order, he claimed that the EFCC came up with another round of stories.
“It was either that one official or the other, was not available to authorise the release and, so Adoke continues to languish in illegal detention. As of today, 6th February 2020 (and still counting), over seven clear days after the court granted Adoke bail, the EFCC continues to detain him.
“Notwithstanding our client’s fulfilment of his bail conditions, he has been kept by the Respondent in horrific detention, in blatant defiance of the court’s clear and mandatory order for his release on bail,” Ozekhome decried.
He stressed that Adoke’s health condition was fast deteriorating on a daily basis, adding that the former AGF now has typhoid and malaria among other illnesses while his sight was gradually failing him.
The SAN alleged that this has forced the EFCC to hurriedly transfer Adoke to the Federal Medical Centre, Abuja.
He, however, urged the anti-graft agency to respect a valid court order by releasing his client and asked the Federal Government to build strong and enduring institutions.