Ohanaeze Hails Court Ruling on Ekweremadu
Gideon Arinze in Enugu
The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, has commended the Federal High Court in Abuja for vacating the interim order which sanctioned the forfeiture of 40 property allegedly belonging to the former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, to the federal government.
Recall that in vacating the interim order, the trial Judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo, berated the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for the role it played in the continued detention of Ekweremadu in the United Kingdom, saying no Nigerian should be made to pass through such ordeal whether at home or abroad.
Justice Ekwo had given the interim order in November 2022 based on the facts brought before it by the EFCC.
However, in the ruling on January 20, Ekwo accused the EFCC of suppressing material facts before the court and thus misdirecting the court.
Meanwhile, in a statement made available to journalists by the National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Alex Ogbonnia, yesterday, Ohanaeze commended the courage of Justice Ekwo in reversing himself based on clear facts adduced by Ekweremadu`s lawyers before the court.
Ohanaeze said it beats its imagination that EFCC would desperately rush to court with false and distorted facts to secure a ruling against the former deputy Senate president who is being unjustly held in the UK prison custody when it (EFCC) knew he was not in a position to defend himself.
Ohanaeze condemned the action of the EFCC, which “portrays it as a partisan tool in the hands of some highly placed people to fight imaginary or real enemies.
“Ohanaeze stands on a firm wicket to state that it will not augur well for our country if the state institutions like the EFCC are being willfully deployed to serve narrow and partisan interests. We counsel the EFCC to ensure that at all times, its actions are guided by time-honoured principles of equity and fairness.”
Ohanaeze regretted that while there are several corruption cases in the EFCC, the haste, indiscretion, bias, media trial and callousness with which the EFCC chose to “backstab a Nigerian citizen is counterintuitive and an indelible adverse image on the country.”