The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said on Thursday that it would “immediately” appeal the ruling of a Federal Capital Territory High Court which granted bail to Abiodun Agbele, an ally of Governor Ayodele Fayose.
The court on Thursday reached the conclusion that the EFCC unlawfully held Mr. Agbele, who is under investigation in connection with alleged fraud and money laundering.
The judge, Olukayode Adeniyi, frowned at the “unlawful detention” without trial and also awarded N5 million as damages against the commission.
The judge said the failure of the EFCC to charge Mr. Agbele to court, since his arrest, amounted to an abuse of his fundamental rights.
The commission’s head of media and publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, in a statement on Thursday, described the ruling as “shocking”, vowing to appeal the judgment.
He described the judge’s conclusion as “curious” against the background of the information presented to the court, which included the fact that the suspect was being held with valid remand warrants issued by competent courts.
The EFCC also said it would file a motion for a stay of execution of the ruling.
The Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Fayose, described the commission’s decision to appeal the judgment as a clear demonstration of the anti-corruption agency’s “wickedness and show of vendetta” against the governor.
“It is now obvious that all that the EFCC desired is to incarcerate Mr Agbele indefinitely just because he is linked with Governor Fayose, who the EFCC and its APC collaborators desired to silence at all cost,” the statement said.
The statement further noted that that the action of the commission showed that Mr. Fayose was their actual target.
“We wonder the sense in keeping an accused in EFCC custody indefinitely while the anti-corruption agency goes about looking for evidences to prosecute him,” the statement queried.
“If the EFCC is sure of the evidences that it claimed to have, what is the need for keeping Mr Agbele in detention? Why not take him to court?
“And what interest is the EFCC serving by standing against a court ruling that granted conditional bail to an accused person?”