Dasukigate: Court Okays EFCC’s Detention Of Omisore

 Dasukigate: Court Okays EFCC’s Detention Of Omisore

EFCC1Detained former Osun State Deputy Governor, Iyiola Omisore failed Friday in his quest for freedom as a High Court in Abuja dismissed his bail application.
Omisore was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on July 3 for allegedly receiving about N1.3bn from the Office the immediate past National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki in 2014 with no evidence of projects executed.
He applied to the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), alleging unjust detention, breaches of his fundamental rights and sought to be admitted to bail.
In a ruling Friday, Justice Olukayode Adeniyi faulted Omisore’s rationale for filing the application.
The judge said Omisore’s prayers could not be granted because he filed the application while the order of the court, empowering the EFCC to remand him, was still subsisting.
The judge noted that the order to remand him for 14 days was made by Justice J.O Okeke (also of the FCT High Court) on July 8, while Omisore filed the bail application on July 11.
Justice Adeniyi held that the only option open to Omisore was to await the expiration of the remand order to renew his application for bail.
The judge said under the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015, where an order for the remand of a suspect is made by a High Court, the order can only be reversed or set aside by a court sitting as an appellate jurisdiction.
Justice Adeniyi observed that lawyer to Omisore, Goddie Uche (SAN) failed to show with “any legal submission” that the court has the power to grant bail to the suspect despite the subsistence of the earlier order for his remand.
He noted that: “In the present case, the remand order was issued on July 8, 2016. It is not in dispute that this instant application was filed on the same date on July 8, 2016 and up till date, the said remand order has yet to fully run its course.
“Therefore, by my understanding of the provisions of the ACJA, the only time the court is competent to consider whether or not to exercise its discretion to grant bail to a suspect, in the same situation with the applicant in the present case, is either pursuant to section 295 of the ACJA, at the point the application for remand is made, or in the case when a suspect is still in custody or remand at the expiration of the order of remand made pursuant to section 296(1) and (2) of the Act,” the judge said.
Justice Adeniyi said if Omisore’s lawyer had informed Justice Okeke that the EFCC had granted the ex-Senator an administrative bail, the order for his remand may not have been made, and perhaps, Justice Okeke might have granted bail to Omisore.
The judge added, “Nevertheless, the court, having in its wisdom and competently so, ordered the remand of the applicant in the first respondent’s (EFCC’s) custody for 14 days, which order is still subsisting, any attempt to grant the instant application will be tantamount, in my firm view, to vacating the remand order.
“I do not suppose that the ACJA envisages or contemplates the situation wherein, a court other than a court exercising appellate jurisdiction, having made an order of remand under sections 294 and 296 thereof, should proceed within the lifespan of the same order to make such other order upon the application of the suspect which has the effect of countermanding the remand order.
“The applicant’s learned counsel has failed to show what power this court has and I am not aware of any to make an order in the nature as prayed in the instant application which has the tendency and implication of upturning a subsisting order of my learned brother, Okeke J.
“I must therefore agree with the submissions of the first defendant’s counsel that in the present situation, that the court having made an order for the remand of the applicant for a period of 14 days, cannot turn around to make another order countermanding the same order for remand for the release of the applicant on bail.
“In other words, the issue of bail to the suspect cannot arise before the same court that has validly made an order for his remand during the lifespan of the order.
“In my view, the cause open to the applicant is to await the expiration of the order made on July 8, 2016 and thereafter exercise his rights under section 296(3) of the ACJA to renew his application for bail.
“In totality, and without any further ado, my decision is that the instant application is premature in the circumstance. It is hereby incompetent and inappropriate.
“Even though, I have not considered it on merit, the application must and is hereby dismissed,” Justice Adeniyi said.
The EFCC had, while opposing the bail application on Thursday, justified its continued detention of Omisore and urged the court to refuse his application.
The commission, in a counter affidavit deposed to by one of its operatives, Kassim Yusuf, said it was‎ still investigating Omisore for alleged offences including, retention of proceeds of crime, among others. Yusuf, who stated that Omisore’s arrest and detention were backed by court orders, said the commission was planning to invite a number of the ex-Deputy Governor’s associates, who he named during interrogation.
He said the EFCC is ” investigating cases of alleged payments $ade by the office of immediate past National Security Adviser, Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (rtd) to individuals and companies, with nothing to show for it.
“In one of the alleged cases which the 1st respondent (EFCC) is investigating, the name of the applicant (Omisore) featured prominently as a sole signatory to Firmex Gilt Ltd’s bank account domiciled at United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc.
“A copy of a letter to UBA, forwarding signatory mandate card and statement of account of Firmex Gilt Ltd is hereby attached.
“Several payments were also made by the office of the immediate past National Security Adviser, Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki Trtd) into the bank account of Sylvan Menamara Ltd domiciled at Diamond Bank, with nothing to show for for it.
“Copies of e-payment schedules from ONSA and statement of accounts of Sylvan Menamara Ltd are hereby attached.
“From Sylvan Menamara Ltd’s Diamondaccount, the sum of N160,000,000 was deposited into the said account on 4th August, 2014 by the then NSA. Thus sum was subsequently transferred into Firmex Gilt Ltd’s bank account domiciled at UBA Plc on 8th August 2014.
“Investigation so far carried out, reveals that the applicant recieved hundreds of millions of naira from the office of the National Security Adviser, with nothing to show for it.
“In the course of interviewing the applicant, he has mentioned names of persons and companies through which monies from the office of the National Security Adviser got to him.
“There is need to those persons and companies mentioned by the applicant to make some clarification. If the applicant is granted bail, he will interfere with witnesses and he will also prejudice and frustrate our on-going investigation,” Yusuf said.

LTV

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