Ekweremadu: HURIWA Hails Judgement On Asset Forfeiture, Seeks Legal Censure of EFCC
By Chinedu Echianu in Abuja
Civil rights group, Human Rights Writers Association, HURIWA, has rebuked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for allegedly misleading the Federal High Court Abuja into granting an earlier order of interim forfeiture of properties linked to the former Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, and called for the censure of the hierarchy of the Abdulrasheed-led anti-graft agency for judicial subterfuge.
HURIWA said the Friday ruling by Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court had further exposed “the alleged unholy alliance of the EFCC and the London Metropolitan Police and authorities” in the continued detention of the Senator, reiterating that failure to penalize the EFCC would further entrench the abuse of court process.
Reacting to the Friday Court ruling through a statement issued by its National Coordinator Emmanuel Onwubiko on Friday, HURIWA said: “We commend the court for this show of courage despite the well known tactics of intimidation and arm-twisting of the judiciary allegedly 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 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 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 alleged 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.