A federal high court in Abuja, led by Justice Okon Abang has struck out the case of fundamental human rights filed by the spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh, against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), challenging his detention on January 5.
Metuh who is facing a 7-count charge of corruption and money laundering, for illegally receiving and spending N400 million, being part of $2.1 billion arms money diverted by former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, had filed the suit against the anti-graft agency, praying the court to make a declaration that his arrest and detention by the EFCC without being charged to court violated his rights.
He also asked the court to issue an order restraining the EFCC from arresting and detaining him again, arguing that he was on January 5 arrested without an arrest warrant as well as detained for 10 days without being prosecuted.
The PDP spokesman added that his being in detention made it difficult for him to take medication for high blood pressure- an ailment he suffers.
Countering him however, counsel to the EFCC, Sylvanus Tahir said the order of remand was issued by a Chief Magistrate’s Court, therefore Metuh’s detention could not have been unconstitutional. He stressed that the PDP spokesman was held for serious criminal offences, and was needed in the process of investigation.
In his ruling, the trial Judge, Abang held that the EFCC had the constitutional powers to arrest and detain Metuh, noting that on the surface of it, his detention appeared to be unlawful, but that he was held by an order of a court, hence he (the judge) would not make a pronouncement on that.
He said, “It is my view that the applicant cannot complain of being held illegally, if he was held by an order of court.
“This court in determining his fundamental rights cannot overthrow the decision of the Magistrate Court.
“This court in its jurisdiction lacks power to declare the order that remands him for 10 days as unconstitutional since the remand order subsist,”
“It is my view that the detainee cannot complain of unlawful detention by any department of the government where the detention was made with an order of court,” he ruled.
The judge ruled that the applicant’s complain of being held for an upward of 10 days was unlawful. He thereafter dismissed the suit for lacking in merit and awarded a cost of N15, 000 against Metuh to pay to the EFCC as damages.
Source: The Will|Premium Times
Leave your views in comments box below.