Human rights lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), says efforts had begun to secure the release of the immediate governor of Ekiti State Mr Ayodele Fayose, from the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
Concise News reports that Fayose stormed the Abuja office of the anti-graft agency October 16, a day after the expiration of his tenure as Ekiti governor.
Fayose, who has been in the EFCC custody since then, is being grilled on his receipt from the Office of the former National Security Adviser (ONSA) the suspect sum of N1.3billion and $5.377million.
The EFCC maintains that the money totalling N4.6 billion was part of the funds stolen from defence vote.
Giving an update on the former governor’s situation, Ozekhome said “Fayose’s lawyers are already taking steps to enforce his fundamental human rights by getting him released.
“Yes, his lawyers will go to court to enforce his fundamental human rights. The EFCC has no right to keep him for over 24 hours.
“If they have done that by obtaining a Magistrate Court’s Order that will be in the form of “holding charge” which has been declared unconstitutional and illegal by the Supreme Court”.
Human rights lawyer said the section of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) permitting a magistrate to detain a suspect for 14 days was illegal.
According to him, any action outside the provisions of Section 35 of the Constitution which specifically provides for 24 hours was illegal and unconstitutional.
Ozekhome explained that the ACJA allowed for detention of a suspect for 14 days, but that Section 35 of the Constitution made it clear that a person could only be detained for 24 hours.
“So, when there is a clash between the statute, like the ACJA, and the Constitution, the Constitution prevails by virtue of Section 1(3).
“If they have gotten an order for two weeks from the magistrate court, it is unconstitutional,” he opined.