Members of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Ikeja Branch have joined numerous other concerned Nigerians to call on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to release Mr. Monday Ubani who has been in custody for over 23 days and counting.
In a press release by its Executive Committee, the branch described the continued detention as unlawful.
“Gentlemen, the mainstream and social media have been awash with the news of the arrest and detention of a revered senior member of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA; the immediate past 2nd National Vice President and former chairman of NBA, Ikeja branch- Mr. Monday Onyekachi Ubani by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over an allegation of failure to produce a suspect for whom he stood as a counsel and surety.”
“Mr. Ubani has now spent over 22 days in the gulag of the EFCC. This is so, notwithstanding the order of the High Court of FCT, coram Oriji J that Mr. Ubani be either charged to court or released immediately.”
“Members of the Excellent Branch are in wonder as to why an order of court of law validly made for the release of the former chairman of the branch is treated with disdain by no such other institution than the EFCC. This is an institution that should ordinarily be entrenched in the respect for the Rule of Law and the constitution, particularly Chapter 4 thereof, as it relates to the fundamental rights of citizens.”
“It is obvious that the events surrounding the continued detention of Mr. Ubani as well as recent actions of the Commission have blurred the line between respect for Rule of Law and abuse of rights of Citizens in the claim to the fight against corruption by the Commission.”
The branch noted that it would not support EFCC’s operations if it is not guided by the rule of law.
“It is not the position of NBA, Ikeja Branch that EFCC should not do its work, but that, in doing such work, it must be guided by the Rule of Law. The Branch is ready to commend the Commission when it does well and will not hesitate to condemn it when it errs. A flagrant disregard to an order of a court of competent jurisdiction leaves no one in doubt that the Commission does not respect the rule of law and rights of the citizens whose commonwealth is deployed daily for the maintenance of the Commission.”
“The continued detention of Mr. Monday Onyekachi Ubani by the EFCC is unacceptable to the entire members of NBA, Ikeja Branch, it is unconstitutional, it is an abuse and it is hereby rejected. We also condemn in the strongest terms, the act of impunity and disrespect to the courts and their judgments and orders. We Executive and members of Ikeja Branch, join the President and all national officers of NBA to demand an immediate release of Monday Onyekachi Ubani in accordance with the ruling of Lord Justice Oriji of the High Court of FCT, Abuja.”
“We also call on all well-meaning Nigerians and international communities to prevail on the EFCC to release Ubani NOW.”
Mr. Ubani is still in Eric’s custody.