by Isi Esene
Justice Peter Kekemeke of an Abuja High Court has ordered the arrest of the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Lamorde and an operative of the anti-graft agency, Friday Ebelo for disobeying a valid court order.
Justice Kekemeke directed the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar to arrest and detain them within the next two weeks except they apologize to a lawyer whose fundamental human rights were allegedly violated by the commission.
Read the Vanguard Newspapers report below:
Reacting to the order, spokesman of the commission, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, who acknowledged that a copy of the order was served on the agency, said EFCC has perfected plans to get it vacated.
The court had on March 8 and December 5, 2012, ordered Lamorde to release the call-to-bar certificate of one Mr Innocent Onwu, apologize to him through a national newspaper as well as pay him N50, 000 as compensation.
Onwu who is an Abuja-based lawyer had on October 31, 2011, initiated a fundamental rights enforcement proceeding after he was detained by the EFCC between June 27 and July 1, 2011 without order of court.
His detention was sequel to a petition by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, accusing him of complicity in fraud pertaining to a case he was investigating for a client.
Dissatisfied with the way he was allegedly manhandled by the commission, Onwu demanded N300 million as compensation for the unlawful search of his house and office and the trauma he suffered in the hands of the EFCC.
Besides, the lawyer, claimed his ailing mother was admitted at the Garki General Hospital on the day he was arrested by the EFCC, insisting that despite his passionate pleas, the commission refused to release him to attend to his mother, resulting to her death three days later.
The court had on June 4 and June 24 this year, dismissed two applications filed by the EFCC counsel, Mr James Onu, wherein he sought to void the contempt proceeding.