Court Restrains EFCC From Arresting Ozekhome Over Magu Criticism

A Federal High Court in Abuja has restrained the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from inviting, harassing and threatening to arrest or detain a constitutional lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, for criticising its former Acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu.

Justice Inyang Ekwo gave the order on Friday, holding that serial acts of intimidation and constant invitations extended to the senior advocate of Nigeria, as well as threats to arrest, detain and humiliate him, over publications and speeches he made “in respect of the apparent opaqueness and lopsidedness of the corruption fight of the 1st Respondent (EFCC) under the leadership of the 2nd Respondent (Magu)”, were illegal, unlawful, wrongful, unconstitutional.

He said the action of the agency is a blatant violation of the applicant’s fundamental rights as enshrined in Sections 35, 37, 39 and 41 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), and Articles 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12 & 14 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights Ratification and Enforcement Act, Cap. A9 LFN 2004.

The court order followed a fundamental right enforcement application by Mr. Ozekhome.

Cited as 1st to 3rd Respondents in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/324/2018, were the EFCC, Magu and one of its lead operatives, Abubakar Aliyu Madaki.

Ozekhome had told the court that EFCC continued to harass him for being a vocal critic of the lopsided nature of President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption war led by Magu.

He also said the ant-graft agency continue to ask him to come for after it froze his bank account following the payment of his legal fees, totalling the sum of N75million, by the former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose.

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