Tension, anxiety, mounts over EFCC refusal to release detained suspect despite court Order
… as Akwa Ibom Lawyer Urges State Assembly, Civil Right Organizations, others to Wade into EFCC frequent abuse of Power
… Says EFCC refusal to grant client’s bail despite court order is wrong
… EFCC official, Nwandu Ukoha verbally abused judge for granting my client’s bail – Ewa Okpo
The last may not have been heard about the illegal arrest and detention of a University of Calabar undergraduate, Mr. Noble Tamunoateli Dainge, arrested a week and some days ago by officials of the EFCC Zonal Office, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
According to a legal practitioner, Barr. Ewa Okpo, in a press conference on 3rd July, he said that his client, Mr. Noble Tamunoateli, a student of the University of Calabar, was arrested by the EFCC on allegations of committing fraud popularly referred to as ‘Yahoo-yahoo’, but that despite forcefully getting the suspect bank statements against court order and not finding any incriminating evidence against his client, the agency still keep and torture his client so as to coerce him into making statements under duress and in the absence of any legal representative.
According to the legal luminary, Tamunoateli had on the 22nd June gone to his bank (UBA) to make enquiry about his inability to make withdrawals, an effort the bank couldn’t solve on the fateful day. Tamunoateli was asked by the bank officials to come back the following day for rectification of the issues, Tamunoateli without any premonition or fear, went back the following day and was told that his account was freeze and on the order of the Economic financial crimes commission, an agency of the Federal Government mandated to fight financial crime related cases. The Nigerian Police Force as narrated were invited and Tamunoateli was arrested and handed over by the police force to the anti-graft agency and was quickly moved to its Uyo Zonal Office.
According to reports, Tamunoateli without his solicitor was taken forcefully to his bank and made to obtained his bank statement under duress by the agency. But despite having gone through Tamuno’s account without any incriminating evidence, the officials of the agency refused to either charge him to court nor release him.
Okpo, himself, a human right activist said that having been briefed about the suspect predicament had approached the agency for a first hand brief on the matter by anti-graft, an effort he said was frustrated by officials of the agency.
According to the Uyo Popular human rights activist, the bailiff who was mandated to serve the EFFC with the court order was physically abused, tortured with his clothes torn apart by the EFCC’s lawyer, one Nwandu Ukoha Kalu Esq despite the bailiff wearing a JUSUN inscripted dress.
Okpo Stated that despite court order which mandated the EFCC to release Noble Tamunoateli Dainge, officials of the Uyo Zonal Office have refused to release his client, rather resorting to verbal abuse of the Justice Ntong Ntong led high court.
Okpo said that he was worried about how officials of the anti-graft agencies will arrest and detain suspects without any recourse to law, saying that its frequent abuse of power should be discouraged completely to avoid anarchy.
He further appealed to Akwa Ibom State house of Assembly, civil right organizations and other agencies of Government to call on EFCC to respect court orders and the fundamental human rights of Nigeria citizens.
Attempt at reaching out to officials of EFCC proved abortive.
Meanwhile, concern Nigerians have questioned why EFCC keeps violating the rights of innocent citizens of the country, saying that if nothing is done against constant abuse of power, Nigerians will resort to self help, they said.