By Emma Elekwa, Onitsha
An Anambra High Court presided over by Hon Justice MNO Okonkwo, has ordered the immediate release of a community leader, Elder Emma Nwasor of Obunasator, Nibo, Awka South Local Government Area of the state from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) custody.
The accused was on December 16, 2020, in a Fidelity Bank branch in Awka arrested by officials of the Enugu Zonal office of the Commission.
His counsel, Barr Mike Ikegbunam had five days after futile attempts to find out reasons for his client’s arrest, raised the alarm over his whereabouts, insisting that after he was granted bail, the commission claimed he was taken to Abuja by men of the Nigerian Army.
Ikegbunam was compelled to approach the court, seeking the immediate and unconditional release of his client and an interim injunction restraining EFCC and its officials from further harassment or arrest.
Applicants in the matter included Emma Nwasor and six other leaders of Obunasator community, while the respondents were the Inspector General of Police, State Commissioner of Police, Executive chairman of EFCC, Zonal head of EFCC and seven others.
While regretting the health condition of his client during his arrest three weeks ago, Ikegbunam expressed fears it might have deteriorated following his travails.
“Though I didn’t receive any petition by EFCC as a reason for my client’s arrest, he had earlier told me they were investigating huge sums of monies that came into his account and how he spent it.
“As a community leader, his account was mostly used to execute projects in the town,” he added.
Delivering his order in the application, with suit No. A/MISC.381/2020, Justice Okonkwo said, “The interim order is hereby made restraining the respondents, their officers and agents, privies or whoever from arresting, threatening to arrest or detaining, continuing to harass or intimidate the applicant in respect of the issue that gave rise to this application.
“That the respondents are hereby ordered to release the first applicant on bail or alternatively produce him in court in the next adjourned date to show cause why he should not be admitted to bail.”
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