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NEWS UPDATE: Woman wants FCT Judge probed for remanding husband 5 months without trial

NEWS UPDATE: Woman wants FCT Judge probed for remanding husband 5 months without trial

A Nigerian adult female, Mrs. Unyine Festus Udoh has petitioned the National Judicial Council (NJC), seeking investigation into the activities of Justice Hamza Mu’azu of the Federal Working capital Territory (FCT) High Tribunal, Abuja.

Mrs. Udoh is alleging that her spouse, Dr. Festus Udoh has been under the custody of the Economical and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for a period of 5 months without trial.

In a 3-page petition, Mrs. Udoh accused Justice Mu’azu of “granting an indiscriminate ex parte tell directing the perpetual detention” of her spouse, whom she described as the “bread winner of the household”.

“My Spouse, Dr. Festus James Udoh was foremost arrested by the EFCC on the 5th daytime of May 2021 on allegation of deliberately presenting 2 (2) forged bank drafts to sterling Bank of Nigeria PLC, an allegation which he vehemently denied, but was notwithstanding detained by the EFCC which refused to grant him administrative bail”, Mrs. Udoh said.

She added that her spouse was released on bail by Justice Kawu of the Kubwa partition of FCT High Tribunal on the 19th daytime of July 2021, next a ruling on Fundamental Rights enforcement suit instituted against the EFCC.

“On the 10th daytime of August 2021, the EFCC traced and rearrested my spouse and dumped him in detention till date without charging or arraigning him in Tribunal.

“On the 3rd daytime September 2021, patch my spouse was still in detention, His Lordship, Hon. Justice Mu’azu, ruling on a move ex parte, ordered that my spouse and 2 (2) others (Mrs. Approving Nkiru Ezenwa and Miss Favour Ezenwa, a serving NYSC Corps fellow member be detained by the EFCC, ‘pending conclusion of investigation and arraignment’.

“The Enjoin is intended to maintain my spouse perpetually in detention as there is no time bound in the said Enjoin for the conclusion of the purported investigation. I know that it is unconstitutional and exterior the powers of the Hon. Justice H. Mu’azu to Enjoin my spouse’s indefinite detention without his formal arraignment in tribunal and without granting him the opportunity to create representations either personally or through his Counsel before making such Enjoin as if by Subdivision 36(2) of the Structure of the Federal republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

“I know that the judiciary has ever frowned against indiscriminate grant of ex Parte Orders. My spouse is at present consequently beingness detained indefinitely and has been in detention of the EFCC for over a period of 5 months at present. My spouse and the entire household are suffering serious hardship and mental agony as a outcome of his continued illegal detention”, she added.

Mrs. Udoh alleged that her spouse is beingness detained “at the instance and pleasance of some powerful persons who are wrongly using the tribunal to take hold him to ransom”, urging the NJC to intervene and cause her spouse to be released from “illegal detention”.

Meanwhile, a suit has been instituted at the FCT High Tribunal, in an originating summon, seeking the setting aside of the tell of Justice Mu’azu.

Alexander Oketa (Esq.), Counsel to Dr. Udoh in the said suit, is also seeking an accolade of N80m damages against the EFCC for detaining his client for months without proper arraignment.

Oketa is also seeking a perpetual injunction restraining the EFCC and the High Tribunal from applying and granting ex parte orders to detain suspects, a exercise he argued, is unconstitutional.

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