Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, has said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), will continue to lose cases because the anti-graft agency arrests people “without proper and thorough investigation”.
In a statement released by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Fayose went on to condemn the continued detention of former Governors of Benue and Niger States, Gabriel Suswam and Babangida Aliyu.
He said their detention showed the disrespect for the law by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
“It is even more worrisome that former Governor Suswam has been in detention since February 26 this year and Austin Okai, who was arrested in Abuja last Sunday, was arraigned in Lokoja Magistrate Court on Thursday, granted bail and rearrested at the court premises by the same police that charged him to court.
“Arresting people without proper and thorough investigation is the reason EFCC continues lose its cases. How can you arrest someone, put him in detention and start looking for evidence to prosecute him?
“On Wednesday, the Department of State Services came up with the most ridiculous reason for keeping Suswam in detention since February. The service said it would not release the former governor because he has failed to cooperate with investigators. The question is; what cooperation does the DSS need from someone that will require him being kept in detention for close to two months without charging him to court?
“One may also ask: is the DSS also keeping the head of Nigeria’s Islamic Movement, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, who has been in detention since late 2015 despite that the court ruled that he should be released?
“Are we back to the era of Decree 2 of 1984 when the National Security Organisation had powers to arrest and detain Nigerians indefinitely?
“Also, for what lawful reason would the Police charge Austin Okai to court and rearrest him at the court premises after he was granted bail? Isn’t the brutish use of power by these APC elements getting too much?”
Fayose also insisted that the EFCC had no right to detain any Nigerian without trial.
“Most importantly, it is assumed that before anyone can be arrested for alleged corruption, the EFCC ought to have done its job by gathering necessary facts.
“This practice of EFCC arresting Nigerians, detaining them indefinitely so that they can give indicting evidences against themselves is alien to crime investigation in civilised world.
“Therefore, if EFCC has any evidence of corruption against Dr Babangida Aliyu, the commission should simply charge him to court and use the evidence(s) to prosecute him.
“In the absence of this, he should be released forthwith; else one will also believe the insinuation that the EFCC is holding him (Babangida) as part of the APC-led Federal Government clampdown on anyone that is perceived as having presidential ambition in 2019.”