Lawyer sues FG, EFCC, seeks Olisa Metuh’s immediate release

Posted by News Express | 11 January 2016 | 2,341 times

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A Lagos Lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, has sued the Federal government and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at the Federal High Court in Lagos, over the continued detention of the spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh.

Mr Adegboruwa wants the court to order the government and its agents to immediately release Mr Metuh from the custody of the EFCC.

Also joined in the fundamental rights enforcement suit filed on Monday is the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami.

The EFCC had arrested the PDP spokesman last week in continuation of its investigation into the alleged diversion and sharing of over $2 billion meant for purchase of arms to fight Boko Haram.

The commission said Metuh had some questions to answer regarding some funds said to have been traced to his firm.

In the lawsuit however, Adegboruwa asked the court for an order restraining the respondents from further arresting, detaining, persecuting, trailing or in any other manner taking steps that may jeopardise the liberty, freedom and life of the applicant except and in a manner permitted and sanctioned by law.

He further urged the court to make a declaration that the Respondents are not entitled to arrest, detain or in any other manner restrict the liberty of the Applicant without charge.

“Such is a flagrant violation of the Applicant’s fundamental rights guaranteed under sections 35, 38, 40 and 41 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 and Articles 4, 5, 6, 9, 12 and 14 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights 2004,” he stressed.

Adegboruwa is also asking the court to hold that the detention of the applicant by the first respondent on Tuesday, January 5, 2016 at an unknown location, without access to his lawyers, family and doctors, constitutes a flagrant violation of the applicant’s fundamental rights.

The lawyer is further seeking a declaration that the Respondents are not entitled to demand for, seize, impound, detain, attach, forfeit and/or confiscate or in any other manner deal with the Applicant’s property and assets in flagrant violation of the Applicant’s fundamental rights guaranteed under the law.

In a 19 paragraph affidavit, Adegboruwa averred that Metuh had been the spokesperson of the PDP, even before President Muhammadu Buhari was sworn in and had functioned effectively in that position since May 29, 2016.

“Metuh has been x-raying the activities of the ruling APC government and he has been very critical of the said government, to expose its tricks and any perceived anomaly and mis-governance,” he wrote.

The lawyer also claimed that on January 5, 2016, officers of the EFCC stormed the home of the applicant at Prince and Princess Estate, Abuja and arrested him without a court order and he has been in detention ever since.

He said: “I verily believe that the applicant has not committed any offence other than his principled opposition to the ruling government and his arrest and detention are meant to silence the opposition and create a one party state, by the respondents and allow the APC to dominate Nigeria.

“Nobody knows the present whereabouts of the applicant, as to his exact place of detention, his condition in custody and how he is faring.

“Recently, detainees in the custody of the 1st respondent have been dying due to lack of proper care and adequate medical facilities, and the 1st respondent is not normally well funded to function effectively, except to be used by the ruling government to hound the opposition,” he alleged.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the application. (Channels TV)

•Photo shows Olisa Metuh.

Source: News Express

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