Tuesday, August 2, 2016 9:33 pm
An FCT High Court on Tuesday dismissed the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) motion for stay of execution of judgment against, Abiodun Agbele, an aide to Gov Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti.
Agbele was arraigned by the EFCC for alleged money laundering of N1.2 billion from the Office of the National Security Adviser.
He was granted bail by the court on July 21 and the EFCC was ordered to pay him five million Nara as damages.
Justice Olukayode Adeniyi held that EFCC failed to provide the court with strong grounds to enable it stay the execution of its judgment on July 21.
“They have not deposed to concrete facts to support the motion. The respondent till today has not been arraigned before any court of law.
“What the applicant is asking the court to do is to take away the judgment given with right hand with granting of stay of execution with the left hand.
“The applicant must release the respondent forthwith. I found no merit in the application and the application is hereby dismissed,” he ordered.
EFCC on July 25 filed a notice for stay of execution of the judgment delivered on July 21.
EFCC through its lawyer, Mr Benjamin Manji, said that he had filed an appeal and also another charges before the court.
But, Chief Mike Ozekhome, in his submission urged the court not to grant EFCC’s application.
Ozekhome said even when his client had met the bail bonds Agbele was still being detained by the EFCC.
“You can’t stay execution of judgment urging the release of a citizen, it is against the provisions of Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
He said that the refusal to release the respondent amounts to violation of his fundamental liberty that Agbele should walk as a free man until proven guilty.
He said as for the judgment debt of five million naira,mit was already provided for in EFCC’s budget.
Adeniyi had ordered that the surety shall either be a public officer of director level of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who must be resident within Abuja.
He said the surety must be a responsible Nigerian resident within Abuja and own landed property within the Municipal Area Council.
He added that the surety must also show evidence of tax payment for a period of three years.
The court said that Agbele must deposit his international passport with the court registrar.
Adeniyi also ordered EFCC to release all the applicant’s personal properties seized within a period of 21 days. (NAN)