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EFCC Detains Abuja Resident For Eight Days With COVID-19 Patient

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has allegedly arrested and detained Muktar Jabibu Ali, a resident of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, for an offence he or his lawyers have yet to know.

Reporters learnt that the EFCC on March 30 arrested Ali through its operatives in the Wuse office and has since detained him with a COVID-19 patient, identified as Mr Nbah from Abia State.

The lawyers representing Ali, from the Alex Oketa Chambers, have raised a petition to complain to the EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, about the inhuman treatment meted out to Ali at the EFCC facility in Wuse.

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A copy of the petition obtained by Reporters stated that apart from the EFCC not having a detention warrant, Ali is being held without any known just cause.

Alex Oketa, Head of Chambers, who signed the petition, also copied the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN) and the National Human Rights Commission, urging them to intervene and free Mr. Ali, whom he said was being held without any just cause.

“Our client was arrested by men and officers of the EFCC from the Abuja Zonal Office since the 30th day of March, 2021 and dumped in detention till date.

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“Our client is being detained alongside a Covid-19 Patient named Mr. Mbah from Abia State and risks contracting the deadly virus.

“Since the time of his arrest till the time of writing this letter, Our client has not been told or confronted with the reason for his arrest and inordinate detention and no statement whatsoever has been obtained from him.

“May I humbly remind you that the EFCC has no power to detain our client beyond the constitutional limit of 24 hours under any guise without an order of a competent court duly sought and had. Our client’s continued detention without any order of a competent court violates his fundamental rights as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999 as amended) which you swore to uphold,” the petition reads.

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Oketa said the family of his client suspected that his arrest was not unconnected to a debt of N1.5 million between him and his friend.

He said the debtor “had boasted few days to his arrest that the new Zonal Head is his friend and that he would use him to ensure that our client is arrested and detained until he pays him the desired amount.”

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