..Says health of detained man deteriorating
By Nimat Otori
The family of Chief Executive Officer, U.I Properties Limited, Ifeanyi Israel , has raised the alarm over his deteriorating health at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC where he has been detained for a month , over what was described as a civil matter.
His arrest by officers from the Land and Property Fraud section of the Commission, followed a complaint by one Chief Ezeani Okoye, that Israel did not remit the money he received from his tenants to him.
In a petition to the EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa , the detainee’s family stated that no order of court was sought or obtained for his continued detention , after keeping him beyond 24 and 48 hours respectively since March 25, 2021.
His family also hinted that the case was in court wondering why the ailing father of one was still being detained.
The petition which was issued by Canan Chambers and signed by Emeka Izima, explained that , ” Our client was once arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on March 19, 2019 following a civil disagreement he had with one of his clients, Chief Ezeani Okoye who alleged that our client did not remit money he received from his tenants to him.
“ On March 21, 2021, our client was granted administrative bail but was eventually released on March 22, 2019. Our client kept to the conditions of his bail until his application for the enforcement of his Fundamental Human Right was fully seized by the High Court of FCT in Suit No: FCT/HC/CV/1604/2019: IFEANYI ISRAEL VS THE NIGERIA POLICE FORCE & four others which is now pending at the Court of Appeal in Appeal No. CA A/104/2020 coming up for hearing on May 25,2021.
“On Thursday, March 25 , 2021 our client visited the Commission’s office at 5 Formella Crescent, Wuse II, Abuja on the invitation of one Mr. Bakare who disclosed that he was one of the new officers assigned to handle the case and that as a new personnel in the matter, he needed to familiarize himself with the parties to the case.
“ Upon introduction of our client as the suspect in the case, the said new officer immediately through our client into detention despite the fact that he was already on an administrative bail earlier granted him by the previous team handling the case and had honoured the invitation of the Commission without any hesitation or coercion.
“Our Client is being detained at the instance and pleasure of the complainant who had vowed to use the Commission to keep our client perpetually out of circulation after his failed attempt with the Navy and DIA sometime in 2018. For fear of our client defeating him in the prosecution of this case, he has made sure that our client would not be granted bail again by these ‘new officers’ led by one Mr. Gudu Modibo.
“ We presented a Level 16 Public officer ready and willing to take our client on bail since March 26, 2021 but the seemingly and obviously compromised new officers have refused to grant our client bail despite repeated pleas to them.
“ Our client is diabetic and his health is visibly fast deteriorating to the knowledge of the said detaining new officers. It is pertinent to notify you sir, that no order of court was sought or obtained for the continued detention of our client after keeping him beyond 24 and 48hours respectively since 25th of March, 2021 till today.
“ We wish to emphasize that our client was not traced, tracked or arrested by the Gudu Modibo-led team of the Commission but he personally came on his own to honour the invitation extended to him by the team through telephone call. If he had intended to jump bail, he would not have personally submitted himself to the team. He has done nothing wrong to deserve this mindless and capricious punishment being melted out to him by this ‘new team’.
“Sir, may we humbly reiterate the fact that you owe the good people of this country a duty of respect to the Rule of Law and we strongly believe that you will not hesitate to do so. No society can thrive and grow without due adherence to the Rule of Law and decent use of power”.
He therefore, urged the Commission’s Chairman to admit the detained man to administrative bail pending the hearing and determination of the one-count charge already filed and served in charge No. CR/1064/2020-FRN vs Ifeanyi Israel .
Efforts to get EFCC’s reaction failed as a call put to its head, Media and Publicity, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, as well as message to his email and mobile phone did not receive any response at press time.