Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
Colonel Nicholas Ashinze, who has been in EFCC/Army gulag since December 23, 2015, has finally regained his freedom as he has just been released from the Mogadishu Military Cantonment by the military authorities.
His lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, who announced Ashinze’s release in a statement, said his release was sequel to an earlier order made by Justice Y. Halilu of the Abuja High Court sitting at Jabi, Abuja, in a fundamental rights case argued by Ashinze.
Justice Halilu, had in his ruling while ordering the unconditional release of Ashinze with his confiscated properties, from the custody of the EFCC/Military authorities for nearly three months, lambasted the EFCC and the Army for failing to obey constitutional provisions dealing with the rights and liberties of a serving colonel alleged to have committed an offence.
His Lordship had stated the motto of the EFCC which states that “Nobody is above the Law” which he held also applied to all investigating authorities, including EFCC, but which he said had been behaving as if it was above the law.
He termed the action of EFCC and the Army as akin to what obtained in an uncivilized society, still living under military dictatorship. He also described the EFCC and Army as behaving like illiterate.
Ozekhome said: “This judgment and the subsequent release from custody today of Colonel Ashinze, are no doubt a great triumph for the rule of law, re-establishment of the sanctity and independence of the Judiciary, and a clarion call on all investigating agencies to act within the confines of the rule of law and not to see themselves as maximum dictators and tyrants, who are above the law, in their perceived fight against corruption.