- An Abuja High Court judge has said that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) exhibited high handednes in the detention of Ayodele Fayose's ally
- Abiodun Agbele an ally to Fayose was arrested by the EFCC over an allegation of diversion of public funds
- The judge warned the security agencies especially the EFCC to desist from the trend of granting stringent administrative bail conditions to suspects
An Abuja High Court judge has said that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has exhibited high handednes in the detention of an ally to governor of Ekiti state Ayodele Fayose.
Abiodun Agbele was arrested by the EFCC on Friday, July 1, over allegation of diversion of public funds received from a former junior minister of defence Musilu Obanikoro through a Zenith Bank account.
In his ruling, Olukayode Adeniyi said the act of the respondent to rush to a magistrate court to obtain a remand warrant even when it was clear that a suit had already been instituted against the commission is illegal.
The judge also warned the security agencies especially the EFCC to desist from the trend of granting stringent administrative bail conditions to suspects thereby negating the essence of bail.
He also cautioned the magistrate courts to avoid be used by security agencies to detain citizens illegally.
The applicant had in his submissions said that the respondents violated his rights to liberty.
The EFCC had also argued that the position of the Constitution in restricting an individual's freedom is not absolute.
The detained is alleged to have collaborated with the former minister of state for defence Musilu Obanikoro through a Zenith Bank account.
But the judge said the provision on Section 35 (5) of the 1999 Constitution permits that every Nigerian arrested by an investigating agency must be brought before the court within a reason time.
He said the section allows for one day detention and brought to a court of competent jurisdiction within the radius of 40 kilometers.
The judge also said that the office of the EFCC is within 40 kilometers radius, adding that the respondent's submission that the remand warrant got from a Lagos magistrate court is erroneous.
The judge ruled that the EFCC pay the sum of N5 million to the apllicant for illegally detaining him longer than required.
Also, the judge ruled that apllicant be admitted to a N50 million bail bond, one surety a public servant or a reasonable Nigerian resident in Abuja.
This he said is for the avoidance of doubt, following an EFCC's application.
The judge also ordered the release all documents and personal effects belonging to Agbele if he is not charged to court.