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Jonathan’s cousin sues govt over continued detention


GavelA Niger-Delta activist, Mr. Azibaola Robert, who is a cousin to the immediate past President of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan yesterday filed a legal action against the Federal Government over his continued detention.

Robert, a legal practitioner and an entrepreneur honored an invitation at the Abuja office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on March 23, 2016, and has allegedly been in custody ever since.

In the new suit filed at the Federal High Court, Lagos, through the law firm of Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, Mr. Robert is asking the court to stop the Federal Government and indeed the EFCC from applying for any new remand warrant against him from any court in Nigeria, since a pattern has been established that such remand warrant is only a ploy to keep him in custody indefinitely.

He is asking the court to hold that sections 293 and 294 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, which the EFCC is relying on to secure remand orders from Magistrate’s Courts were designed to cater for criminal offences attracting capital punishment, such as murder, armed robbery, kidnapping or treasonable felony, for which the police would need time to await a legal advice from the office of the Attorney-General, and not cases relating to financial crimes, being handled by the EFCC, for which are mostly documentary.

He is also asking to hold that the attempt by the EFCC to force him to implicate the former President, Dr. Jonathan, is contrary to section 7 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, which has outlawed the practice of arresting a citizen as ransom for the alleged offense of another citizen.

The claim of Robert in the suit is that he was commissioned by the Federal Government to execute an assignment. The assignment, he said involves navigating the Niger Delta to network with all stakeholders for the purpose of preventing oil pipelines vandalism, oil bunkering and crude oil theft.

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