More than two weeks after Goodluck Jonathan’s cousin and his employee were arrested and detained by the EFCC over a $40m pipeline job, the EFCC has finally granted him bail.
Jonathan’s cousin, Barr. Azibaola Robert
Barrister Azibaola Robert, a cousin of former President Jonathan who was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) in what was popularly adjudged to be a desperate partisan attempt by the present administration to implicate and persecute the immediate past president of Nigeria has been freed by the court.
A Federal Capital Territory High Court in Maitama, Abuja, on Thursday ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to immediately release Mr. Azibaola Robert, on bail.
Justice Olasunbo who ruled on an ex parte application filed by Azibaola Robert’s lawyer, Chief Chris Uche (SAN), held that the applicant’s detention by the EFCC for over two weeks without being charged to court was unconstitutional.
The judge further ruled that the bail granted the applicant was to subsist pending his arraignment by EFCC before any court or the hearing of his substantive suit.
The terms of Justice Olasunbo Goodluk’s, ruling on Azibaola’s ex-parte application are that the bail should be guaranteed by two sureties and each of the sureties must be a serving or retired Director in any of the Federal Government’s ministries or parastatal resident within Abuja.
The applicant is also required to deposit his passport to the Chief Registrar of this court.
Azibaola Robert is a prominent entrepreneur from the Niger Delta with vast business interests in the area of construction and engineering. Two of his companies, Kakatar and Oneplus Holdings were mentioned among 300 other companies and individuals spread across the country by the presidential committee probing the contracts issued by the Office of the National Security Officer during Jonathan’s administration.
Azibaola’s brother, who had earlier expressed fears over his brother’s well-being, maintain that Robert had not breached any laws and his company, Mangroovtech, which is why now Kakatar CE Limited got all its contracts through jcompetitive bidding and nothing more
He then urged the EFCC to respect the laws of Nigeria and grant his brother immediate bail and release both him and the executive director of the firm or charge them to court of competent jurisdiction.
He added that the constitution of Nigeria protects his brother and Mr. Dakoru Atukpa, an executive director of his company, Oneplus Holdings from arbitrary arrest and being kept incommunicado for weeks without being charged to court or granted bail.