Metuh Drags EFCC to Court

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Metuh
Metuh

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Olisa Metuh, national publicity secretary, Peoples Democratic Party, is suing the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, for abusing his fundamental human rights by keeping him in detention for eight days without trial

OLISA Metuh, national publicity secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, is challenging his continued detention by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in court. In a suit filed before the Federal High Court in Lagos, Metuh is seeking to protect his fundamental human right, requesting for his immediate release from detention where he has been held for one week. He was bundled by EFCC officials from his residence last week Tuesday for allegedly collecting N400 million from Col. Sambo Dasuki who is also being detained over the $2.1m fund for arms which he alleged misapplied.

In the suit filed by Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, his lawyer, the national publicity secretary, claimed that his incarceration by the EFCC was part of the sinister plan by the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, to silence opposition and make Nigeria a one-party country.

Adegboruwa, who personally deposed to the affidavit of urgency in support of Metuh’s suit, said that President Muhammadu Buhari since his swearing-in in May 2015 had launched “a massive attack upon the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, in the guise of fighting a nebulous anti-corruption war.”

Metuh alleged in his suit that the EFCC detained him without given him access to his family and lawyer, and without being charged to court, adding that this is a violation of his fundamental rights guaranteed under sections 33, 34, 35, 38, 40, 41, 42, 43 and 44 of the Constitution.

The continued detention of Metuh also breached the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

Adegboruwa is of the view that Metuh’s life might be in danger as the condition he is being kept in EFCC cell might be untidy and unhygienic which would lead to ill health.

“I verily believe that the applicant has not committed any offence other than his principled opposition to the ruling government and his arrest and detention are meant to silence the opposition and create a one-party state by the respondents to allow the APC to dominate Nigeria.

“Nobody knows the present whereabouts of the applicant, as to his exact place of detention, his condition in the custody and how he is faring. Recently, detainees in the custody of the 1st respondent have been dying due to lack of proper care and adequate medical facilities, as the 1st respondent is not normally well-funded to function effectively, except to be used by the ruling government to hound the opposition.”

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit as it is yet to be assigned to any judge.

Nonetheless, Ibrahim Magu, EFCC chairman, has explained that Metuh could not be released because he opted not to refund the N400 million. According to Magu, Metuh said he would go on hunger strike unlike Jafaru Isa, close associate of President Muhammadu Buhari, who also collected N170 million from Dasuki but return N100 million before he was released eight hours after he was arrested.

— Jan 12,  2015 @ 11:10 GMT

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