By Marie-Therese Nanlong
Jos – The legal team of Senator Jonah Jang has described the recent arrest and continued detention of the former Governor of Plateau State by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for over 72 hours without charging him to court, as “illegal, unconstitutional, arbitrary and a gross violation of his right to personal liberty.”
To address the situation, the team has filed two suits demanding the Senator’s immediate release and payment of the sum of N500million by the Commission as compensation for infringing on his fundamental human rights.
Before his arrest on Monday, it would be recalled that Jang, who is the Senator representing Plateau North in the National Assembly, has been having series of visits to the EFCC and the ICPC to answer to his alleged misappropriation of State funds while serving his second term as governor and has been on administrative bail until his latest visit to the EFCC on Monday, the 7th when he was given a charge sheet and told he would be detained.
A member of the team, Barr. David Dusu told journalists in Jos that the former Governor, who had served as both military and civilian governor was tricked by the EFCC officials to the Idiagbon House on the pretense of meeting with the EFCC Chairman only to be given a charge sheet and detained without being charged to court, this smacking of political rather than legal matter.
Dusu stated, “The EFCC has the right to arrest anyone suspected to have committed economic crime but his case is politically motivated. Jang is a known person, he was on administrative bail and never failed to present himself whenever he was called upon he has been arrested since Monday and his case has not been assigned to any judge.
“We have filed two motions for bail and the enforcement of his fundamental rights. The continuous detention of the Applicant for the period exceeding one day without charging him in court is illegal, unconstitutional, arbitrary and a gross violation of his right to personal liberty, guaranteed and protected by S.35 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As Amended) and Article 6 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Right.
“We seek an order directing the Respondent to immediately and unconditionally release the Applicant from the Respondent’s custody having detained the Applicant for a period exceeding one day, we seek an order directing the Respondent to pay the Applicant the sum of N500, 000,000.00 and to offer the Respondent a public apology in two national dailies.”