Court okays Femi Fani-Kayode’s detention by EFCC

A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Apo, Abuja, has said the detention of former Aviation Minister Femi Fani-Kayode by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was in order.

Fani-Kayode, who served as spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Organisation, has been in EFCC custody for his alleged complicity in money laundering activities.

He was arraigned on Tuesday, with some others, at a Federal High Court in Lagos, on money laundering charges.

In a judgment yesterday, Justice Olukayode Adeniyi of the High Court of the FCT, Apo, held that the fundamental rights’ enforcement suit filed by Fani-Kayode was without merit.

Fani-Kayode had, in the suit, contended, among others, that his detention by the EFCC prior to his arraignment on Tuesday, violated his right to personal liberty.

The judge, who upheld EFCC’s argument against the suit, held that the detention was not illegal because it was backed by an order of court obtained by the EFCC.

Justice Adeniyi, however, frowned at the practice by the EFCC of arresting and detaining a suspect for the purposes of investigation.

EFCC’s lawyer Salisu Majidadi had, while arguing his client’s counter-affidavit to Fani-Kayode’s suit, stated that the commission invited the ex-minister on May 9, and that on May 10 it obtained a court order to detain him in Abuja with respect to the alleged scam.

He said before the court order obtained by the EFCC from the FCT High Court expired on May 24, the commission received a message from its Special Task Force in Lagos about a fresh petition received against the former minster.

Majidadi said this prompted the commission to move the suspect from Abuja to its Lagos office on May 23 and obtained another order on the same day renewing the PDP chief’s remand for another three weeks.

The EFCC’s lawyer argued that with two court orders permitting the commission to detain the suspect since May 9, the detention was lawful and did not amount to a violation of the suspect’s rights.

He added that the remand orders were lawful and followed an Act of parliament.

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