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Alleged $40m diversion: Jonathan’s cousin to remain in EFCC – Court rules

Alleged $40m diversion: Jonathan’s cousin to remain in EFCC – Court rules

Chief Magistrate B.O. Osunsanmi of a Lagos Magistrate Court sitting in Ikeja has ordered that Robert Azibaola, a cousin to former President Goodluck Jonathan be remanded in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission custody (EFCC).
The matter was adjourned to May 23, 2016.

With the ruling, Azibaola will remain in detention pending the completion of investigations over the $40m allegedly paid to him through One-Plus Holdings, a sister company of Kakatar Construction Limited by ex-former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd).

Aziboala, who has been in the EFCC custody since March 23, 2016, had earlier approached a Federal Capital Territory High Court for the enforcement of his fundamental human rights in a motion ex-parte dated and filed on April 5 and brought pursuant to Order 5 Rules 3 and 4 of the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 2009, Section 35 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

In the application, he had prayed the court to grant him an interim bail pending his arraignment before a court of law by the respondent (EFCC) or pending the determination of the substantive motion in this suit.

In his ruling, the trial Justice Goodluck Olasunbo of the Federal Capital Territory granted the prayer of the defendant when he held that Robert’s detention by the EFCC for over two weeks was unconstitutional.

The judge, relying on the provision of the constitution, held that section 35 (5) of the constitution provides that a person who is under arrest or in detention shall be brought before a court of law within reasonable time.

The court ordered the EFCC to release Robert’s colleague and Executive Director of Kakatar Construction and Engineering Company Limited, Mr. Dakoru Atukpa, who had also been in detention for the same period.

The bail conditions include two sureties each of whom shall be a serving or retired Director in any of the federal government ministries or parastatals and must be resident within the Federal Capital Territory while the applicant shall deposit his international passport to the Chief Registrar of this court.

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