A leading Pro-democracy and Non-Governmental organization- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has lambasted the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes commission ( EFCC) Alhaji Ibrahim Magu of annoying show of naked partisanship in the cases of alleged corruption involving the erstwhile National Publicity Secretary of the opposition Peoples Democratic party (PDP) Chief Olisa Metuh and the National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
The Rights group criticized Alhaji Ibrahim Magu-led EFCC for confiscating all the banking assets of the erstwhile spokesman of the PDP even when the Court of competent jurisdiction has yet to convict him of any of the charges instituted by the anti-graft body against the former trenchant critic of President Muhammadu Buhari-Mr. Olisa Metuh but expressed shock that the same EFCC has filed a motion before a Federal High Court to stop it from granting mandamus order compelling the EFCC to investigate and file charges of corruption against the National Chairman of the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress Comrade Adams Oshiomhole for the purported theft of billions of public fund whilst he served for eight years as the governor of Edo state under the All Progressives Congress.
HURIWA also expressed shock that Ibrahim Magu is still the head of EFCC and the Senate has no qualms passing EFCC’S budget and the Secretary of the panel even when the President disrespected the decision of the upper legislative chamber to disqualify Ibrahim Magu from confirmation based on his indictment by the Department of state services.
HURIWA recalled that the Federal High Court, Abuja had ordered the service of its processes on All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, over an alleged financial malfeasance during his stewardship as governor of Edo State.
HURIWA stated that Justice Anwuli Chikere gave the order while ruling on an ex-parte application brought before the court by Bishop Osadolor Ochei.
HURIWA further recalled that the application is seeking an order of mandamus to compel the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to arrest and commence criminal proceedings against the ex-leader labour for allegedly diverting state funds for personal use.
The Rights group recalled the judge, who also ordered service on the anti-graft agency, stressed that the exercise must be done within five beginning from yesterday.
The ex-parte, with suit No FHC/ABJ/CS/628/ 2018, and filed by Dr. West Idahosa on behalf of the plaintiff, has Oshiomole and EFCC as first and second respondents.
Idahosa, had while arguing the motion, urged the court to allow the respondents file their replies to the weighty allegations against them.
On the other hand, Ochei had on October 28, 2016, written the EFCC over Oshiomhole, who was Edo governor between November 12, 2008 and November 11, 2016.
While praying the court to grant the request of his client, Idahosa referred the court to 86 exhibits filed in support of the application, stressing that there were documents and graphics of palatial houses of the ex-governor whose his life earnings, he contended, couldn’t acquire.
He said there were evidence on how the APC national chair allegedly diverted money meant for state projects to his.
The counsel added that there were vouchers of exorbitant airfares that the NLC’s erstwhile boss incurred, which according to him, could get Edo people an air carrier.
The lawyer also claimed that there were receipts of how he used huge state funds to repair his private vehicles, urging the court to grant the sought reliefs.
Consequently, the judge adjourned till October 23 for arguments from parties in the suit.
HURIWA however carpeted the EFCC for filing a purported motion to oppose the granting of the mandamus to compel it to do its statutory duty of probing the extensively damaging allegations against the National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress whereas the same EFCC had obtained ‘jankara market’ court injunction to confiscate the accounts of the former National spokesman of PDP as if he has already been convicted even when the constitution in section 36(5) provides that there must be fair hearing for all suspects who are to be presumed innocent before the law until contrary determination is reached by the competent court of law.
HURIWA recalled that a former National Publicity scribe of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Olisa Metuh, told the Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had on Monday frozen all his bank accounts.
Metuh, who expressed shock over the development, said he learnt of the no-debit order placed on his account after his failed transaction on one of the accounts on Tuesday.
He told the court presided over by Justice Okon Abang that as a result of the development, he could no longer feed his family or buy things as common as water and pain-relieving medicine like Panadol.
Metuh was testifying in his trial as a defence witness when he digressed into making the comments about his frozen accounts on Tuesday.
The ex-spokesperson for the PDP said, “The EFCC seized my accounts yesterday night and I can’t get money to feed my family.
“I am in total shock as I am here talking to you. I don’t even know what to say.
“They seized all my accounts in every bank in this country. As I am don’t have money to buy Panadol or water to drink.”
The ex-spokesperson noted that the freezing of his accounts had to do with his ongoing trial on the charges bordering on the N400m he allegedly received fraudulently from the Office of the National Security Adviser in 2014.
He, however, wondered why the EFCC having earlier seized his assets with the Asset and Resource Management Company Limited and his funds in other banks took the fresh step which he said had denied him access to his funds worth more than the amount at stake in the ongoing trial.
He said, “They have alleged in this case that N400m was stolen. Why would they not limit it to that amount? I don’t know how I am going to feed my family? I don’t have access to any money at all. I am ready to end this case and submit myself to the judgment of this court.”
His lawyer, Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), said he had no objection to what his client was saying except the part where he spoke about ending the case.
HURIWA recalled that the EFCC is prosecuting Metuh and his Destra Investments Limited, on seven counts of money laundering and fraudulent receipt of N400m from the Office of the NSA on November 22, 2014, for the PDP’s campaign activities.
But HURIWA criticized the EFCC for not only refusing to investigate the Presidential campaign funds of the pre-2015 opposition Presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari just because he is the appointing authority of the acting Chairman of EFCC. HURIWA said the naked partisanship betrays the enabling law setting up the EFCC as an institution which should carry out their statutory duties without let or hindrance just as the group accused the EFCC of protecting the APC’s national chairman who has come under considerable accusations of fraud and bribery and had even been interdicted twice by the Department of state services for allegedly collecting $50 million USD during the just ended party primaries of the APC.