NBA speaks on intrusion into Appeal Court judge’s home by EFCC agents

The Nigerian Bar Affiliation (NBA) has known as on the Financial and Monetary Crimes Fee (EFCC) to take a disciplinary motion towards its agents who invaded the home of a Court of Appeal decide, Ita Mbaba, within the wee hours of Wednesday in Kano, Kano State.

NBA President, Yakubu Maikyau, in a press release on Wednesday, additionally known as on the fee to concern a public apology to Mr Mbaba who’s the presiding justice of the Kano Division of the Court of Appeal.

It comes hours after EFCC admitted in a press release on Wednesday that its agents visited the property housing Mr Mbaba’s residence in Kano, however that the decide was not their goal.

PREMIUM TIMES reported that the fee mentioned its agents’ go to was for a verification train in regards to the property.

It mentioned Mr Mbaba had no hyperlink to the possession of the property, due to this fact, couldn’t have been the topic of its investigations.

The property, in keeping with EFCC, is positioned on Sheik Yusuf Adam Sport avenue, off Race Cross Street, Nasarawa Authorities Reservation Space, Kano.

The fee added that the property got here beneath EFCC’s searchlight “owing to a subsisting matter involving the proprietor of the property”.

However reacting, Mr Maikyau described the incident as “unlucky”, including that he had known as the EFCC chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, to precise NBA’s concern about it.

He mentioned the timing of the intrusion, which in keeping with him, occurred at about 5 a.m. on Wednesday, and the style of the “property verification train” EFCC claimed its agents had gone there to hold out “leaves a lot to be desired, to say the least.”

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He added that the anti-graft company’s assertion “fell wanting rendering an apology to His Lordship and the Judiciary for the invasion of His Lordship’s privateness and the resultant embarrassment by the actions of its operatives.”

“Such verification may have been carried out with out armed operatives, at a extra applicable time of the day and thru a civil course of. We’re a Nation of legal guidelines and rules, and we should present regard for the Rule of Legislation and due course of.

“I due to this fact name on the EFCC to not solely take applicable disciplinary actions towards the involved officers, but in addition concern a public apology to His Lordship, the Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal, Kano Division, and your complete judiciary.

“The NBA will monitor the observance of those calls for, ” the assertion added.

Background

EFCC’s assertion had issued its assertion to disclaim investigating Mr Mbaba.

There had been media experiences that the decide was beneath investigation following the invasion of his home by EFCC agents.

PREMIUM TIMES reported that Nigeria has latest historical past of raids on judges’ properties by regulation enforcement agents, though the EFCC has by no means been concerned till the newest one.

It began when operatives of the State Safety Service (SSS) invaded the homes of some judges, together with two Justices of the Supreme Court, in Abuja and different elements of the nation in 2016.

Not lengthy after that, safety businesses together with EFCC started placing judges on trial over corruption allegations.

In a style much like SSS’ invasion of some judges’ properties in 2016, some safety operatives laid a siege to the home of a Justice of the Supreme Court, Mary Odili, the spouse of a former Governor of Rivers State, Peter Odili, at Imo Road, Maitama, Abuja, on 29 October 2021.

Mrs Odili retired as a justice of the Supreme in Might this yr.

The raid on her official residence was led by Lawrence Adjodo, who claimed to be a police officer with a search warrant to be executed on the home.

A Justice of the Peace in Abuja who issued the warrant would later withraw it. He mentioned he was misled to concern it.

Together with different safety businesses and the Lawyer-Basic of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, EFCC had denied information of the raid.

EFCC insisted its operatives didn’t take part within the raid.

Learn NBA’s assertion in full:

twenty first September, 2022

STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION, Y.C. MAIKYAU, SAN, ON THE INTRUSION OF THE RESIDENCE OF HIS LORDSHIP, THE PRESIDING JUSTICE OF THE COURT OF APPEAL, KANO DIVISION BY AGENTS OF THE ECONONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIMES COMMISSION (EFCC) ON WEDNESDAY 21ST SEPTEMBER, 2022

I’ve been following the unlucky occasion of the intrusion of the residence of the Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal, Kano Division, at about 5am this morning, by armed officers of the Financial and Monetary Crimes Fee (EFCC).

I’ve personally spoken with His Lordship and I used to be fairly relieved to know that His Lordship is ok and calm. I contacted the Kano Department Chairman of the NBA, who along with the Attorneys Basic of Kano and Jigawa States, engaged the officers of the EFCC on the matter. Just a few hours later, I once more spoke with His Lordship the Presiding Justice, who confirmed that the Chairman of the EFCC had known as to clarify the conduct of the officers and apologize for the following embarrassment.

I’ve additionally seen the ‘Press Assertion’ of the EFCC and known as the Chairman of the Fee to precise the considerations of the NBA over the incident. He defined the circumstances surrounding the incident and likewise confirmed that he reached out to His Lordship. The EFCC in its assertion admitted that its operatives had been on a “Property Verification Train” and acknowledged that His Lordship is “not beneath any investigation by the Fee”. The assertion nevertheless fell wanting rendering an apology to His Lordship and the Judiciary for the invasion of His Lordship’s privateness and the resultant embarrassment by the actions of its operatives.

The NBA strongly condemns the intrusion of the residence of His Lordship; it’s unwarranted and fully unacceptable. While we don’t in any method, oppose and won’t stand in the way in which of the EFCC or every other regulation enforcement company within the discharge of its statutory duties, the NBA will lawfully resist any try and harass, intimidate or in any method bully our Judges and Justices.

The timing and method of the “Property Verification Train” leaves a lot to be desired, to say the least. Such verification may have been carried out with out armed operatives, at a extra applicable time of the day and thru a civil course of. We’re a Nation of legal guidelines and rules, and we should present regard for the Rule of Legislation and due course of.

I due to this fact name on the EFCC to not solely take applicable disciplinary actions towards the involved officers, but in addition concern a public apology to His Lordship, the Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal, Kano Division and your complete judiciary. The NBA will monitor the observance of those calls for.

I thank His Lordship, the President of the Court of Appeal, the Chairman of the EFCC, Attorneys Basic of Kano and Jigawa States, the Chairman and government members of Kano Department of the NBA, different stakeholders and the general public for his or her concern and immediate interventions, following the incident.

The NBA is not going to shirk in its accountability to guard and defend the Rule of Legislation in addition to the integrity and independence of the Judiciary.

Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau

NBA President


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