Law

Court sets aside detention order of ex-Skye Bank Chairman, Tunde Ayeni

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An FCT High Court Maitama on Tuesday, set aside an order it  earlier granted the Economic and Financial  Crimes Commission (EFCC), to detain a former Chairman of the defunct Skye Bank, Tunde Ayeni for 14 days.

Justice Yusuf Halilu setting aside the order said that the EFCC had surpressed facts which misled the court into earlier granting the application, thereby, making the detention illegal.

Justice Halilu held that the Court was not aware of all the facts presented by the applicant and which the EFCC could not deny.

“Having considered all the facts before the court , it is clear that the commission suppressed facts to mislead the court.

“If indeed there is a fresh petition against the applicant, and a pending matter is before the Federal High Court, the respondent need not a remand order, but to apply to amend the charge in which it is prosecuting the applicant.

“By coming for a remand order , the respondent had come to tamper with the sacred right of the applicant, which he enjoys. I wonder

“On this note, I hereby set aside the earlier remand order and order the immediate release

Mr Ahmed Raji SAN  Ayeni’s counsel  had approached the court seeking his release from the EFCC custody.

The anti-graft agency had last week approached the Court through an ex-parte application seeking a 14 day remand order of Ayeni.

The EFCC had premised the request for a remand on a need to investigate a  petition submitted by the Office of the Vice President in respect of his alleged  roles as the Chairman of the defunct Skye Bank.

The court then granted the said ex-parte application.

In his submissions , Raji argued that the application is challenging the jurisdiction of the court and the action of the Commission.

He informed the court , of a pending suit before the Federal High Court against the applicant on the same subject matter and that the trial judge at the Federal High Court,  Justice Nnamdi Dimgba had in the particular case admitted him to bail.

He added that the bail condition had since been perfected

Raji added that the detention of the applicant was a breach of his fundamental human right as he went to the Commission by himself on invitation.

He further submitted that anti-graft agency purpotedly admitted the applicant to administration bail on a non -realizable terms, which amounts to “giving bail with one hand ,and collecting it back with the other hand”.

Raji argued, that the subject matter in which the applicant was detained centers around Skye bank issue which is already before the Federal High  Court.

He however prayed the court to set aside the remand order and release the applicant.

In his response, respondent counsel, Mr A.I Audu opposed to the application on ground that the subject matter of which the applicant is being detained was fresh quite different from the that of the matter before the Federal High Court.

He added  that asides the petition submitted by the Office of the Vice President, the acting Chairman of the Commission also recieved a petition against the applicant from a Non Governmental Organization .

He however added that the applicant  was invited based on the petition that he recieved about N8 billion from CBN to buy over Union Homes.

Audu further submitted that the applicant has been giving useful information to the Commission but fell ill along the way and he was consequently taken to the hospital.

He added, it is the illness of the applicant that prompted the Commission to seek for an order to further remand him to complete the investigation. (NAN)

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