Federal Capital Territory High Court has said that the continued detention of Abiodun Agbele, an ally to Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), without trial, violated his fundamental human rights.
The court thus asked EFCC to pay Agbele N5m for damages. It also granted bail to Agbele.
Agbele was arrested by the EFCC in Lagos on June 27 and has since been detained for his roles in the handling of over N1.2bn on behalf of Fayose during the Ekiti State governorship election in 2014.
The Judge, Olukayode Adeniyi, declared that the failure of the EFCC to charge Agbele to court, since his arrest, amounted to an abuse of his fundamental rights.
Justice Adeniyi in a ruling on Thursday,on the suspect’s bail application, declared the continued detention of the suspect since June 27 without being charged to court and without the backing of any competent remand order amounted to a “gross violation” of his right.
The Judge held that the order of remand obtained by the EFCC from a Magistrate’s Court in Ogba, Lagos, on June 30, 2016, to keep the suspect in custody for 14 days, had “dissolved” upon transferring him (Agbele) to Abuja on July 1.
Justice Adeniyi ruled that the remand order issued by Magistrate’s Court in Lagos was no longer binding immediately Agbele was transferred to Abuja which was outside the jurisdiction of the Lagos court.
Though the Judge ruled that he lacked territorial jurisdiction to determine whether or not the EFCC breached the suspect’s rights in Lagos before he was transferred to Abuja, Justice Adeniyi held that there was no legal justification for the detention of the suspect between July 1 and July 13, when the suspect served his fundamental human rights suit on the anti-graft commission.
He ordered the commission to pay a compensation of N5m to Agbele.
The court also ruled that Agbele be admitted to bail with a bond of N50m and a surety not below the cadre of a director in the civil service.
Alternatively, Mr. Agbele is required to provide a surety who is a responsible Nigerian citizen, with landed property in any part of Abuja.