By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA – A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory sitting at Apo, has extended the order restraining the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and the Nigeria Police Force from arresting the former Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Niger Delta Affairs, Kingsley Kuku, over alleged fraud in the amnesty program that was initiated for ex-militants, till May 10.
Justice Valentine Ashi has however directed all the parties to appear before him on that date when the fundamental rights enforcement suit that Kuku filed before the court would be heard.
It will be recalled that the EFCC had through a letter dated July 22, 2015, and signed by one Olufunke Adetayo Ogunbode, Head Economic Governance, invited Kuku to appear before it on July 28 last year for questioning over a case of conspiracy, stealing, diversion if public funds and abuse of office involving him.
However, the ex-presidential aide pleaded ill-health, even as persuaded the court to issue an order restraining the anti-graft agency from preventing him from travelling to the United States of America to undergo a knee surgery in September last year.
The court order was sequel to a fundamental right enforcement application that Kuku filed through his lawyer, Sunday Onubi.
Meantime, at the resumed hearing on the matter, Justice Ashi directed the parties to maintain status-quo, pending the determination of the suit before him.
The judge however granted request by the EFCC to file its counter affidavit in opposition to the suit, out of time.
Despite opposition by Kuku’ lawyer who urged the court to refuse EFCC’s application, however, Justice Ashi, said it was in the interest of justice to allow the anti-graft agency to file its written address against the suit, even as he also deemed same to have been filed within time.
Onubi had pleaded the court to go ahead and grant his client’s reliefs, contending that both EFCC and the police were aware of the pendency of the matter but made no attempt to file their preliminary objection until the last adjourned date.
The court has adjourned the case for definite hearing on May 10.