A civil liberties group, Human Rights Writers Association (HURIWA) has reprimanded the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for misleading the Federal High Court in Abuja in ordering the forfeiture of past assets linked to former Deputy Speaker of the Senate Ike Ekweremadu and called for criticism of the anti-corruption office of Mr. Abdulrasheed ruled for pardon.
HURIWA said Friday’s ruling by Federal High Court Judge Inyang Ekpo further exposed the “unholy links of the EFCC with the London Metropolitan Police and the authorities” in the ongoing arrest of the Senator, repeating and not punishing the EFCC would further entrench the abuse of court process.
Responding to Friday’s court decision in a statement issued by his local coordinator on Friday, HURIWA said, “We commend the court for this show of courage despite the notorious strategy of intimidation and perversion of the court by the EFCC.
“This well-grounded ruling has confirmed our November 4, 2022 position that the asset forfeiture lawsuit at a time Ekweremadu was in custody, facing trial in the United Kingdom, and unable to defend himself was malicious, immoral, in bad faith, and tantamount to a country throwing her citizen under the bus.
“We are equally happy with the court with the report that the judiciary in this ruling reportedly made it obvious to Nigerians and the entire world that the London prosecutors relied on EFCC’s letter to block Ekweremadu’s bail for an alleged offence that is bailable but only for the same EFCC to come home to ask a man they helped to keep in perpetual detention to come forth to show cause why his alleged properties should not be forfeited.
“It is a shame that from the July 2018 simultaneous siege to the homes of Ekweremadu and Dr. Bukola Saraki, in series of persecutions and intimidation of the presiding officers of the 8th Senate, the EFCC has gone on to desecrate fine principles of fair hearing, as well captured by Honourable Justice Ekwo
“It is, therefore, our view that this willful subterfuge, concealment of facts, misleading of the court, and obtaining of the court order by false pretence by the EFCC as contained in the ruling must be met with adequate legal censure to serve as a deterrent to other agencies”.
HURIWA observed that while the EFCC had continued to collude with the London authorities to bias the mind of the court against a Nigerian citizen, the London Metropolitan Police was yet to sanction its officers that soiled Nigerian image by the malicious claim that the alleged organ donor was a 15-year minor.