ENUGU JUDGE WARNS EFCC OVER COLLECTING BRIBES TO PROSECUTE INNOCENT CITIZENS

 

Learned judge, Justice J. Buba of the Federal High Court sitting in Enugu, Thursday warned all federal government agencies to respect court orders or else he would stop entertaining their cases.

Buba was lamenting a situation whereby orders of court would be flagrantly disobeyed by government agencies which is a negation of the judicial process.

The learned judge gave the warning during a hearing on N65 billion suit No FHC/EN/CS/137/2019 between Chief Ifeanyichukwu Okonkwo vs EFCC and three others.

The court held that Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC’s) continued detention of the former governorship candidate of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) during the Anambra governorship election in 2018, over an alleged financial fraud is unacceptable when a valid order of same court directing the anti graft body to release him had been consistently violated and disobeyed.

The judge, who was visibly angry with the operatives of the EFCC, said they could not continue to collect bribes to prosecute innocent Nigerians in a civil matter.

The court held that it cannot continue to accept cases from such government agencies when the court will make an order and one will be obeyed and another would not be obeyed when it is not in its favour.

The presiding judge said for such agency go to a magistrate court to procure a detaining order when a superior court had issued an order of release was an affront to the judiciary.

Justice Buba said a situation where a court that is supposed to be an arbiter to be turned to be a witness in a case before it by the act of the federal government agents is a desecration of the judiciary.

Justice R. O. Dugbo-Oghoghorie of the Federal High Court 2, Enugu, had on Tuesday ordered the anti graft agency to release Chief Okonkwo immediately from their custody after detaining him for over two weeks.

The order which was sequel to an ex-parte application filed by one Mr. Osmond Akputa on behalf of Mr Okonkwo in suit No. FHC/EN/CS/12/2020 was disobeyed and the anti graft body instead went to Enugu State High Court to arraign him on two occasions in which the presiding justices declined jurisdiction to entertain the case.

EFCC first arrested Okonkwo on January 23, at the Federal High Court premises after several warnings by Justice Buba that he should not be arrested at the court premises.

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