Ohanaeze knocks EFCC over utterance on Ekweremadu’s trial
Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council (OYC), yesterday, came hard on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), over its utterances in the ongoing trial of former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.
A statement by the National President of the youth wing of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Okwu Nnabuike, claims that EFCC wrote a letter to the United Kingdom (UK) court where the lawmaker is standing trial.
Ohanaeze said its earlier position that there is more to the London travail of Ekweremadu than meets the eye had now been justified by the revelation in court, on Thursday, by Ekweremadu’s counsel, Adegboyega Awomolo, that the EFCC wrote a letter with which the London Metropolitan Police scuttled the Senator’s bail in the ongoing organ harvest trial, and also concealed vital information from the Federal High Court, Abuja, to obtain an ex-parte interim assets forfeiture order against the lawmaker.
The organisation also expressed outrage over what it described as “EFCC’s decision to ignore petitions against former executive office holders with known corruption allegations” to witch-hunt Ekweremadu, who, as a lawmaker, had not been in a position to administer public funds.
Okwu said: “The revelation, in court, that EFCC armed the London Metropolitan Police with the letter with which it scuttled Ekweremadu’s bail has justified our November 2022 statement that the anti-graft agency was working hand in glove with foreign and local interests to detain and nail the lawmaker at all cost.
“We disagree with EFCC that the said letter was a mere routine to a counterpart government agency, and that the asset forfeiture proceedings instituted against the Senator only after exchanges of communication with the London Police, and while in detention, wasn’t a mere coincidence.
“Even if no legally stipulated timeframe for EFCC to initiate forfeiture proceedings or criminal charges against a suspect as claimed by the agency, is it patriotic, professional, ethical, and auspicious for the anti-graft agency to go after a man they claim to have been investigating since 2008 only when he was detained in London?”
“Would the London Metropolitan Police arm the EFCC with a letter to sabotage the bail application of a British citizen, let alone a member of parliament in a Nigerian court, pledge its readiness to go to court against that citizen in London while in Nigerian detention?
“Is it honourable, on the path of EFCC, to have withheld, from, the Federal High Court, the fact that it had investigated Ekweremadu for over a decade, and that the lawmaker is in detention in a foreign land, and would not be available to defend himself, knowing that the honourable court would be guided by such information in making a just decision on whether or not it should grant interim assets forfeiture, which it ordered against the lawmaker in October?”