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Goodluck Jonathan 'Detention of GEJ's cousin NOT illegal,' EFCC says

The EFCC said the reports that the court condemned the EFCC over Azibaola's detention is a misrepresentation of the fact.

  • Published:
Jonathan’s cousin got $40m from $1.2B arms deal fraud - EFCC play

Azibaola Roberts, the accused cousin of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

(ThisDay)
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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has dismissed media reports that a High Court in Abuja condemned the Commission over the continued  detention of Mr. Robert Azibaola, who is a cousin to former President Goodluck Jonathan.

The EFCC had arrested Azibaola in March 2016 for allegedly collecting $40 million for a dubious pipeline contract through a former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.).

In a statement issued by the spokesman for the anti-graft agency, Willson Uwujaren, on Friday, May 27, it said the report is a misrepresentation of the fact.

It was reported that a court had slammed the EFCC for unlawfully detaining Azibaola despite a court order instructing the agency to release him.

“The attention of the EFCC has been drawn to a report entitled, ‘Judge faults EFCC over detention of Jonathan’s cousin’, which appeared in a number of newspapers on Friday May 27, 2016," the statement read in part.

“The syndicated story tended to create the wrong notion that Justice Olasumbo Goodluck of the FCT High Court condemned the commission for allegedly violating the fundamental rights of Roberts Azibaola, a suspect that is under investigation for receiving $40m in a phantom contract from the Office of the National Security Adviser.

“This is further from what transpired in court on Wednesday May 25, 2016 when her lordship delivered ruling in the fundamental rights enforcement application of Azibaola.

“Contrary to the impression created by the jaundiced report, the court did not fault the detention of Azibaola by the EFCC as her lordship held that a remand warrant was validly obtained by the respondent in line with provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act and consequently dismissed the application of Azibaola for lack of merit.

“The court merely frowned at the commission’s inability to produce the suspect in line with an earlier order of court on the ex-parte application of Azibaola for which counsel representing the EFCC apologised to her lordship.

“The commission had earlier filed a motion asking the court to set aside the ex-parte order on the grounds that it was obtained by false information, which the court rejected.

“It must be stated that the EFCC is a law abiding entity and could not have taken any action that would disregard the sanctity of the court,” Uwujaren added.

READ: Fani-Kayode's aide condemns EFCC over alleged ‘inhuman’ treatment

He alleged that a section of the media has been compromised for twisting the facts, stressing that the court never accused the EFCC of illegally detaining Jonathan’s cousin.

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