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EFCC rejects bail order for detained Bayelsa officials

By  Samuel Oyadongha

Yenagoa—Despite a Federal High Court order in Yenagoa that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, set free three Bayelsa State government officials in its custody over alleged diversion of N500 million into private accounts, the embattled men may spend more days in detention as the anti-graft agency yesterday said it was not aware of the order.

This comes as the commission yesterday filed a six-count charge against the officials over an alleged N2.5 billion scam.

The  officials, including the accountant-general, have now spent eight days in the commission’s cell.

In his order, Monday, the presiding judge of the Federal High Court in Yenagoa, Justice Olayinka Faji, after hearing the three separate applications filed by the detained officials of the state government, ordered the anti-graft agency to grant them bail pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.

In the three separate orders issued by the court after arguments from the counsels to the three applicants on the need for the enforcement of their fundamental human rights, in line with the provisions of the 1999 constitution and the African Charter on Human Right which does not allow detention of accused persons beyond 48 hours without charge, the applicants’ counsels, led by I. A. Adedipe (SAN), Fafa Stephen Gow, A. Adedipe and A. Akinyanju, argued that the detained officials were arrested and detained on 15 March and held incommunicado.

They argued that since the detention of the officials  was beyond 48 hours as provided by law, the court needed to grant the motion ex-parte.

The presiding judge, Justice Olayinka Faji, in his judgment delivered on the suit number FHC/YNG/CS/17/2010 and motion ex-parte under section 98 sheriffs and civil process act order, granted the leave of the applicants to serve all the originating processes in the proceedings on the respondent in Abuja, which is outside the jurisdiction of the court.

But EFCC spokesman, Femi Babafemi, said the commission was not aware of such orders.


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