A Non-Government Organisation, Cadrell Advocacy Centre, has asked that the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu be charged to court for contempt over the continued detention of former Vice-president of Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, Monday Ubani.
Ubani and Christopher Enai were arrested by the EFCC for allegedly failing to produce Mrs Ngozi Olejeme who they stood surety for.
Olejeme was accused by the EFCC of allegedly defrauding the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, NSITF of over N6.4 billion.
In a statement signed by its Executive Director, Evans Ufeli, the body said that the continued detention of Ubani by the EFCC despite a valid court order, shows that Magu has no regards for the judiciary
He said: “The continuous of Ubani by the EFCC is a gross violation of Ubani’s fundamental right and dignity of human person. The conduct of the EFCC leaves so much to be desired in a country that is being watched by the international community. We are embarrassed at the conduct of the commission. The court order directing the release of Mr Ubani or charge him to court must be obeyed.
“We therefore call on the commission to release Mr. Ubani with immediate effect as it is not the law that a surety shall face the charges and/ or allegations of the suspect in a criminal case. Our laws are clear on issues like this, hence our call for the immediate release of Mr Ubani.
“Let this be known to all that Mr Ibrahim Magu is in contempt of court and dereliction of his duties as the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission.
“Contempt of court is an offense under our laws. It is contrary to public policy, equity and good conscience to be in breach of the same law which the commission claims to enforce. The commission cannot be in violation of the fundamental right of the citizens and the laws it sought to uphold and at the same time discounting court orders made by the judiciary. The orders of court are sacred and it must be obeyed!
“The suspect in the above case is alive and her whereabouts is known to the commission. It’s therefore the responsibilities of the commission to locate her and get her to answer to the allegations against her. It’s rather unjust to drag and humiliate a citizen whom the commission lured into standing as surety for the suspect in question. EFCC is in dereliction of her statutory duties and this is unacceptable, intolerable and repulsive.
“We hereby call on the court and all authority concern to charge Mr Magu to court for contempt and trial him accordingly so as to put an end to this kind of impunity. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is hereby put on notice that if after 7 days from the date this is communiqué is published our demand is not met we shall have no other option but to proceed against the Commission to the court for redress. We must protect this country from the decline it suffers on account of the undesirable conducts of our law enforcement Agents in our country.”