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The Economic Financial Crimes Commission has expressed shock after an Abuja High Court presided over by Justice Olukayode Adeniyi, on Thursday, July 21, freed Governor Ayodele Fayose's aide, Mr. Abiodun Agbele, on bail to the tune of N50 million.

Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), Counsel to Agbele, who has been in EFCC custody since June 27 over allegations of money laundering, had approached the court for the enforcement of his client's fundamental human rights.

The lawyer told the court that the EFCC illegally arrested and continued to detain Agbele on the premise that it is investigating over N1.3 billion that was allegedly traced to Fayose’s personal bank account.

Ozekhome also prayed the court to award N500 million to his client as compensation for his unlawful arrest and detention.

In his judgement, Justice Adeniyi condemned the action of the EFCC, saying it was unlawful and unconstitutional to have detained Agbele beyond the period stipulated by the law, adding that his continued detention without trial or a valid court order was in breach of his fundamental human rights.

The judge consequently imposed a fine of N5 million on the anti-graft commission, and ordered that the money be paid to Agbele as compensation for his illegal arrest and detention.

Reacting to the ruling, the EFCC described it as "shocking", saying it would appeal against it and file for a stay of execution.

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The Commission said it is "curious for Justice Adeniyi to grant bail to a suspect who is being investigated for a range of financial crimes bordering on fraud and money laundering."

The EFCC had alleged that Agbele received huge sums of money from a former minister of defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, on behalf of Fayose, to fund the Governor's 2014 election in Ekiti State.

 

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