Ozekhome: Anyim Still Held By EFCC Under Inhuman Condition


Anti-graft agency says he’s yet to meet bail conditions

Alex Enumah and
Paul Obi in Abuja

Contrary to speculation that former Senate President/Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim had been released on bail by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), his lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome, Friday said Anyim was still being kept by the EFCC under inhuman and degrading conditions.

Anyim was arrested last Thursday after honouring an invitation by the EFCC over allegation of diversion of about N13 billion Ecological Funds while he was the SGF.

There were speculations about his release during the week, but his counsel, Ozekhome debunked such claims, arguing that Anyim was still under the custody of the EFCC.

He said: “The truth is that Anyim is still held in EFCC custody till this minute, inspite of fulfilling all administrative bail conditions laid out for him, including deposit of his international passport and being compelled, under duress and undue influence, to sign all manners of self-incriminating and property-stripping documents against his will.

“Inspite of these and the clear provisions of sections 35 and 36 of the Nigerian Constitution and the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), the EFCC has bluntly refused to release Anyim to go and attend to his very poor health over which he was receiving treatment before he was forcible taken away from his home.

“This is calling upon the Attorney General of the Federation and minister of Justice to prevail on the EFCC (and all law enforcement agencies), to respect the rule of law and the Constitution they have sworn to protect and defend by promptly ordering Anyim’s release forthwith, since no charges have been preferred against him and since he has fulfilled all administrative bail conditions.”

But speaking to THISDAY, EFCC Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren explained that the commission’s facilities for keeping those arrested remained under good condition and standards.

Uwujaren informed THISDAY that Anyim “was given some bail conditions but was yet to meet all the conditions.”

He stated that only when those conditions are fully met, will the EFCC release the former SGF.