An Anambra High Court presided by Hon Justice MNO Okonkwo, a vacation Judge, has ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to release a community leader, Elder Emma Nwasor of Obunasator community, Nibo, Awka South Local Government Area of the state, from its custody.
Officials of the Enugu zonal office of the commission had on 16th December 2020 arrested Nwasor in a bank in Awka while every attempt by his counsel, Barr Mike Ikegbunam to find out the reason for his arrest was rebuffed.
Ikegbunam had five days after the arrest of the community leader raised alarm over his client’s whereabouts, insisting that after he was granted bail, the EFCC claimed men of the Nigerian Army took him to Abuja.
He, however, approached the court, seeking the immediate and unconditional release of Nwasor by EFCC and an interim injunction restraining EFCC and her officials from further harassing or arresting him.
Applicants in the matter include Emma Nwasor and six other leaders of the Obunasator community while the respondents are the Inspector General of Police, the Anambra State Police Commissioner, the Executive Chairman of the EFCC, the Zonal Head of EFCC and seven others.
Delivering his order in the application, with suit No. A/MISC.381/2020, Justice Okonkwo said, “The interim order is hereby made restraining the respondents, their officers and agents, privies or whoever from arresting, threatening to arrest or detaining, continuing to harass or intimidate the applicant in respect of the issue that gave rise to this application.
“That the respondents are hereby ordered to release the first applicant on bail or alternatively produce him in court on the next adjourned date to show cause why he should not be admitted to bail.”
Ikegbunam said his client, Nwasor was ill at the point he was arrested three weeks ago and feared that his health may have deteriorated badly because of his travails.
He added that though no petition was made available to him by EFCC as reasons for his arrest, Nwasor had told him the EFCC was investigating huge sums of monies which came into his account and how he spent it.
He said Nwasor was a community leader and that his account was mostly used to execute projects in the community.