By Innocent Anaba
LAGOS— A Niger Delta activist and cousin of former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, Mr Azibaola Robert, who has been in the custody of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, since March 23, 2016, has dragged the Federal Government before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, challenging his continued detention.
Respondents in the suit are the EFCC, Attorney-General of the Federation and Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Robert, a legal practitioner and environmental activist, through his counsel in the suit, Mr Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, is asking the court to stop the Federal Government and EFCC from applying for any new remand warrant against him from any court in Nigeria, since a pattern had been established that such remand warrant was only a ploy to keep him in custody indefinitely.
He is also asking the court to hold that Sections 293 and 294 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, which the EFCC is relying on to secure remand orders from magistrate’s courts, were designed to cater for criminal offences attracting capital punishment, such as murder, armed robbery, kidnapping or treasonable felony, for which the police would need time to await a legal advice from the office of the Attorney-General, and not cases relating to financial crimes, being handled by the EFCC, which are mostly documentary.
He is further asking the court to hold that the attempt by the EFCC to force him to implicate the former President, Dr Jonathan, was contrary to Section 7 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, which has outlawed the practice of arresting a citizen as ransom for the alleged offence of another citizen.