EFCC Scares Adeyemi Ikuforiji Into Hiding
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Lagos Speaker, Rt. Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji would still have to continue hiding as officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have intensified efforts to get him arrested in line with the warrant of arrest issued against him by a Federal High
Court judge, Justice J. Tosho, last Friday.
Throughout Monday, officials of the EFCC confided in Huhuonline.com that the embattled Speaker remained evasive while they searched everywhere for him. The agency had dispatched its officials to search for him and get him detained till the adjourned January 17, 2012 date slated for hearing in the 20-count charge of fraud filed against him.
Huhuonline.com also learnt that apart from the drafting of security officials to the Assembly, his official quarter was also being monitored. At the Assembly on Monday, according to staff of the House, the lawmakers tried to manage the situation by first holding a parliamentary session where the issue against the Speaker was discussed.
It was learnt from the sources that it was at the session that it was agreed that the House manage the situation and adjourn sitting to December 28, 2011. They also delayed sitting for the day with the hope that he would show up for the sitting since he had gone to court to challenge the decision of the High Court to get him arrested.
Using two lawyers, whose names were given as Barrister Biodun Onidare and Prince Tunde Akinrimisi, for himself and his personal assistant, Oyebode Alade Atoyebi, the Speaker filed two separate applications against the earlier ruling at the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.
In a suit filed by Akinrimisi on behalf of the Speaker and his Personal Assistant, he urged the court to discharge the order of arrest made by the court and grant bail to the accused persons just as he also wants the court to restrain officials of the EFCC from detaining the accused persons.
He argued that the Speaker was only contacted on phone a day before the judge heard the case and that the caller did not tell him any reason for the invitation. He said as at the time of the call, the Speaker was presiding over the sitting of the House that very day.
Appealing the decision, Onidare, in his application, accuse Justice Tosho of bias in his ruling and urged the court to set aside the bench warrant issued for the arrest of the appellants. It also sought an order transferring the matter before another judge of the Federal High Court for arraignment and trial. He claimed the trial judge violated the appellants' rights under sections 35 and 36 of the 1999 constitution when he ordered that a bench warrant be issued against the Speaker and his aide even when they had not been served with any criminal summons or a criminal charge against them.
The appellant's counsel also stated that EFCC had earlier filed a 39-count charge against the accused persons on November 10, 2011 and further amended the charge to 20 counts on December 7, yet the appellants never got any summon in order for them to appear before the court for arraignment.
He claimed that the trial judge should have certified that the appellants were actually granted the court summon rather than base his decision on the EFCC counsel's argument that the appellants were contacted but refused to honour the agency's invitation.
No date was given for the hearing of the counter suits.