By Lukman Olabiyi, Lagos
The detained six–month–old pregnant nursing mother and five others arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged vote-buying in Ekiti State have slammed a N100 million lawsuit on the Commission and its Zonal Commander in Kwara State before the State High Court.
The applicants in the suit, Abisola Modupe Rachael, Abioola Bisola Titilayo, Abisola Mary, Ibrahim Funbi, Ibrahim Dele, Ibidapo Adewale and Damilola Ojo, were all arrested and subsequently detained by the commission on June 18, during the last governorship poll in Ekiti State.
In the suit which has the commission’s zonal commander, Micheal Nzekwe as the second respondent, the applicants accused the commission and Nzekwe of violating their fundamental rights by failing to charge them to court within 24 hours or granting them administrative bail pending their trial.
The applicants alleged that they had been kept in the respondents’ detention for more than eight days particularly, at their office located at No. 1 Catchment close, off forest road, GRA, Ilorin Kwara State within a radius of forty kilometers of both the State High Court and Federal High Court in Ilorin, Kwara State.
They also accused the zonal commander of the commission, Nzekwe of frustrating all attempts by their lawyer to secure them administrative bail.
Among the reliefs sought by the applicants before the court are: “A declaration that the arrest of the applicants at Ereguru Street of Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State AND/OR subsequent detention of the applicants on the instruction of the respondents by the agents or privies of the 1st and 2nd Respondents at the commision’s custody within the radius of forty (40) kilometers of a Court of competent jurisdiction since 18th June 2022 up-to-date and for more than one or two days without taking them to court or releasing them on administrative bail is unlawful, unconstitutional and constitutes a flagrant violation of the Applicants’ right to personal liberty.
“An order of mandatory injunction compelling the respondents, jointly to release the applicants unconditionally or charge the applicants in court, forthwith, for the alleged electoral offence(s) for which they were arrested.
“An order of mandatory injunction compelling the respondents, jointly and severally to write an unalloyed and unmitigated letter of apology to the applicants as required under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended for violation of his fundamental human rights and to publish same in not less than two national dailies and on the internet”.
The court is yet to fix a date for the hearing of the suit.