An Abuja High Court has granted bail to Abiodun Agbele, an ally of Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State, who has been in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, since June 27, and awarded N5 million damages against the anti-graft agency.
Agbele was arrested in Lagos on June 27 and has since been detained by the EFCC for his part in the N1.2 billion allegedly give to Fayose during the Ekiti State governorship election in 2014.
Justice Olukayode Adeniyi held that the continued incarceration of the suspect without being charged to court and without the backing of any competent remand order amounted to a “gross violation” of his right.
Adeniyi said that remand order obtained by the EFCC from a Magistrate’s Court in Ogba, Lagos, on June 30, to keep the suspect in custody for 14 days, became non-effective upon his transfer to Abuja on July 1 as it was outside the Jurisdiction of the Lagos court.
He said that there was no legal justification for the detention of the suspect between July 1 and July 13, when the suspect served his fundamental human rights suit on the anti-graft commission.
The judge then granted Agbele bail to the tune of N50 million with one surety who must be at least a director in either the federal civil service or the FCT Administration.
He also said that alternatively, the surety could be any responsible Nigerian with verifiable residential address in Abuja, and with title documents of property in Abuja.
However, Justice Adeniyi ordered the EFCC to pay Agbele N5 million as damages against the suspect’s “wrongful and illegal detention” from July 1 till date condemning in very strong terms what he described as EFCC’s “gross abuse of powers” and its “arrogant display of executive might”.
Though, the court ordered the suspect to deposit his passport with the EFCC as part of the bail conditions, the judge directed that the passport and any other of the suspect’s personal belonging should be released to him if the anti-graft agency fails to charge him within 21 days.