Posted By: Gbade Ogunwalel, Yemisi Owolabi, is unconstitutional and a show of executive lawlessness.
The two state officials were arrested last Thursday by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for alleged misappropriation of state resources.
Addressing reporters yesterday in Abuja, the Attorney General and Justice Commissioner Kolapo Kolade said the action of the EFCC breached a subsisting order issued against the commission by a Federal High Court in 2016.
According to him, the court barred the commission from arresting, detaining or investigating any state official or officials – whether past or present – without any report of indictment by the House of Assembly.
Kolade said the government had approached the court to challenge the serial arrests of its officials by the EFCC on issues outside the purview of the anti-graft agency.
The commissioner said the court order was duly served on EFCC on November 27, 2016, adding that it had not been vacated by the court or any other superior court.
He said: “Following the Interim Order, the EFCC wrote a petition to the chief judge of the Federal High Court for the transfer of the case to another Federal High Court judge. The case was subsequently transferred to the Akure Judicial Division of the Federal High Court.
“The Akure Judicial Division of the Federal High Court sat over the case on January 24 and restated the earlier order by the Ado Ekiti Judicial Division of the Federal High Court.
“The case was adjourned till February 15 for hearing. But the judge referred the matter back to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court to have a second look at transferring the case to the Akure Judicial Division of the Federal High Court.
“The order of the Federal High Court has not been vacated till date. In other words, the issue of the arrest and or detention of the Ekiti State government officials is still subjudice.
“The EFCC is not above the law and the agency is bound to obey lawful orders made by courts, as in this case.
“The actions of the EFCC are, to say the least, unlawful and show executive lawlessness.”