EFCC Is An Illegal Body, Cannot Effect My Arrest – Maina Tells Court

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To save the nation from going backwards in its war against corruption, the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) has asked a Federal High Court sitting in Kaduna to decline jurisdiction over a suit filed by former Chairman, Presidential Pension Reform Taskforce, Abdulrasheed Maina, challenging an arrest warrant issued against him.

In a suit which has the EFCC, AGF, Senate President and House of Reps Speaker as respondents, Maina had prayed the court to discharge the arrest warrant obtained by the EFCC against him on the grounds that the EFCC was an illegal body.

He argued in court processes filed before the Kaduna court that the law establishing the anti-graft body – EFCC Establishment Act 2004 – was an illegal legislation, the amendment of its principal Act having not been allegedly effected by the National Assembly, The Nation reported.

Maina argued that the principal Act – the EFCC Act 2002 – was amended as EFCC Act 2004 unilaterally by then President Olusegun Obasanjo without recourse to the National Assembly, the constitutionally-recognised law making body for the country.

He said the alleged unilateral alteration by Obasanjo rendered the Act null and void and the body created therefrom illegal and therefore unqualified to obtain a warrant of arrest against him.

However, the AGF in a counter affidavit countered claims made by the plaintiff about the EFCC Act 2004, noting that the Act was duly passed by both chambers of the National Assembly.

The AGF also argued that “since a court of law cannot shield any person from arrest, investigation and possible prosecution, the plaintiff (Maina) cannot claim to have any legal right in an effort to stop any subsequent arrest, investigation and prosecution”.

While urging the court to dismiss the case and allow the EFCC to proceed with Maina’s arrest and prosecution, the AGF argued that granting Maina’s prayer against the EFCC will do incalculable disservice to the nation’s war on corruption.

The defendant also argued that Maina’s suit was an abuse of court process as the plaintiff had initiated a similar case before a Federal High Court in Abuja.

The AGF prayed the court to decline jurisdiction because the suit was wrongly commenced.

The court will hear further proceedings on the case on January 15.

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