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Court Orders EFCC To Release Ex-NSA’s Aide

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The judgment was given by presiding judge, Justice Yusuf Haliru on Monday, March 14, 2016.

A High Court in Abuja has ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to release Colonel Nicholas Ashinze, a former aide to ex-National Security Adviser (NSA),Sambo Dasuki.

The judgment was given by presiding judge, Justice Yusuf Haliru on Monday, March 14, 2016.

“The EFCC is a creation of the ‎law. The court will not allow it to act as if it is above the law. It is remarkable to note that the motto of the EFCC is that nobody is above the law, yet they are acting as if they are above the law,” Haliru said according to Vanguard.

“The EFCC Act is not superior to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The respondents in this matter have not behaved as if we are in a civilised society. They have behaved as if we are in a military dictatorship ‎where they arrest and release persons at will. ‎

“The respondents, I must be bold to say- the EFCC and the Army- have behaved like illiterates. Why has the 1st respondent kept the applicant without bringing him to court? Why was the applicant, being a serving military officer who could be easily reached, not granted administrative bail?

“Or is it that the applicant has been found guilty and already serving his jail term?‎ Nobody should be subjected to the whims and caprices of the EFCC. The essence of the rule of law and constitutional provisions is to ensure a just balance between the ruler and the ruled, between the powerful and the weak.

“Though the EFCC has the responsibility to investigate financial crime, it must however conduct its operations in accordance with the rule of law. “The court is empowered to guard against improper use of power by any member of the society or agency, EFCC inclusive.‎ The detention of the applicant, for all intent and purposes, is not just unfair but unfortunate,” he added.

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Ashinze has been in detention since December 23, 2015 and is believed to have been arrested in connection with the $2.1 billion arms deal fraud.

Dasuki is at the center of the massive money laundering investigation and is alleged to have supervised the looting of the funds which were meant for the procurement of arms for Nigeria’s military.

He was arrested by the Department of State Services (DSS) on December 1, 2015 and handed over to the EFCC the day after.

The former NSA is reported to have implicated several prominent persons in the deal including former governors, ex-ministers and members of the PDP.

Dasuki was released on bail from Kuje Prison in December 2015 but was soon re-arrested by the DSS.

Source: pulse.ng

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