Former Presidential Adviser to Goodluck Jonathan, on Niger Delta Affairs and Coordinator Amnesty Programme, Kingsley Kuku, got a temporary reprieve from a Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday.
The court restrained the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and others from arresting, probing or prosecuting the former Special Adviser, at least for now.
This is to allow the court to determine an appeal on the matter filed by the former Presidential Adviser.
Justice Okon Abang said in the ruling: “Time cannot run against the State in arresting or prosecuting the applicant if truly, he is culpable of the alleged offence. The respondents have nothing to lose if status quo is maintained. So, all actions concerning arrest, detention and prosecution of the applicant should hold on for now, till the final determination of the appeal on the matter.”
Other respondents in the suit are: the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), the DSS and the Nigeria Immigration Service.
Justice Abang who gave the order had on February 17 in a ruling on a fundamental rights suit filed by Kuku against the EFCC, held that the commission can probe and prosecute the former amnesty programme co-coordinator over alleged financial fraud during his tenure.
But not satisfied with the ruling, the former Presidential Adviser filed an appeal for stay of execution of the ruling and supported this with an 11-paragraph affidavit deposed before the court by one Chinedu Obata.
Justice Abang who had since been transferred to Abuja division of the Federal High Court was in Lagos on Tuesday to deliver the ruling.
The judge, in the ruling, held that the application before the court had nothing to do with the statutory rights of the respondents.
He therefore ordered parties in the suit to maintain the status quo pending the determination of the appeal filed by Kuku.