An FCT High Court, led by Justice Abubakar Musa, has directed the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) to arrest the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ola Olukoyede, and Aliyu Yusuf, the Head of Proceeds of Crime Unit at the EFCC. This order is in response to their alleged disobedience of court orders.
The court action stems from a case brought by Chief Ikechi Emenike, a former APC governorship candidate in Abia State, concerning a property situated at 6 Aso Drive, Abuja, allegedly forfeited to the Federal Government due to corruption.
Chief Emenike, who resides in the property, expressed interest in purchasing it. Despite its valuation at over N380 million, the EFCC reportedly declined his offer, sending agents to restrict access to the premises. Emenike sought a court order to exercise his right of first refusal for the property.
The court initially ruled in favor of Emenike, instructing the EFCC to vacate the property and permit him and his household unrestricted movement. However, allegations arose that the EFCC defied these orders, leading to Emenike filing contempt proceedings against Olukoyede and Yusuf.
According to court documents, the EFCC disregarded both interim and interlocutory orders, even proceeding to arrest Chief Emenike and his wife. Seeking redress, Emenike urged the court to convict Olukoyede and Yusuf for failing to comply with its directives.
In a ruling on Tuesday (23rd January 2024), Justice Musa ordered the arrest of the EFCC Chairman and the Head of the Proceeds of Crime Unit for contempt of court.
The judge ruled that ” after listening to Adeyemi Pitan esq counsel for the claimant argue in favour of the application, and Hadiza Afegbu esq counsel for the defendant informing the court that she has no response to the application;
“It is hereby ordered as follows: that an order is hereby made directing the Inspector-General of police to arrest Ola Olukoyede, Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Aliyu Yusuf, Head, Proceeds of Crime Unit of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for the purpose of committing them to prison for disobeying the orders of this Honourable Court contained in the ruling of the court delivered on the 6th day of December 2023.
“That an order is hereby made directing Ola Olukayode, Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Aliyu Yusuf, Head, Proceeds of Crime Unit of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to appear before this court on the date mentioned in this order to show cause why an order for their committal to prison should not be made.”
After the ruling, the judge adjourned the sitting 25th January 2024 for hearing.
Dele Oyewale, EFCC spokesman, promised to get back to our correspondent when he was contacted for a response on Wednesday afternoon but didn’t respond as at the time of filing this report.