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EFCC, PRISON OFFICIALS FIGHT IN COURT OVER SUSPECT

By NBF News
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Prison officials yesterday prevented operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and mobile policemen from arresting one Tony Uche Eze who is standing trial at the Federal High Court in Kano for a drug related offence.

A free-for-all fight nearly broke out between men of the anti-graft agency and prison wardens who were escorting the accused person back to prison. It took a reinforcement of prison officials to prevent the EFCC men from taking the man away.

Eze is standing trial on a drug counterfeiting case brought before the court by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). It was gathered that the accused had earlier been granted bail by Justice Shehu Yahaya of the Federal High Court in the sum of N20,000 with one reliable surety. However, the prison officials decided to take him back to jail until he fulfills the bail conditions.

But on reaching the gate of the complex, they were accosted by the EFCC personnel who demanded that the accused be handed over to them for interrogation, a situation that led to both the accused and the prison officials retreating into the court complex with the anti-graft agents chasing them and shutting the gate.

A serious scuffle ensued between the heavily armed mobile policemen in the EFCC team and the prison guards who converged on the scene and overpowered the EFCC team. Counsel to Tony Eze, Barrister John Olasukanmi, described the action of the EFCC men as contempt of court, as his client had spent over five months in custody before he regained freedom yesterday through bail.  Barrister Nurudeen Ishola, the Kano Coordinator of Legal Aid Council, who witnessed the incident, berated the security agents attached to the EFCC for 'ambushing the court by locking its gate and infringing on the fundamental human rights of the accused and prison officials'.