Okon Abang, justice of the federal high court, Abuja, has dismissed the suit of Olisa Metuh, spokesman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) challenging his detention by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in January.
Metuh had filed a fundamental rights enforcement suit against the EFCC challenging his detention by the commission on January 5. He asked the court to make a declaration that his arrest and detention by the EFCC without being charged to court violated his rights. Also, he asked the court to issue an order restraining the EFCC from arresting and detaining him again. According to Metuh, the reason for his suit was that he was arrested on January 5without an arrest warrant, and that he was held in detention for 10 days without being charged to court. In addition, he was in detention which made it difficult for him to take medication for high blood pressure- an ailment he suffers.
But the EFCC in its argument stated that the PDP spokesman was held by an order of remand issued by a chief magistrate court. It also said that Metuh was held for serious criminal offences, and was needed in the process of investigation. However, Abang held that the EFCC had the constitutional powers to arrest and to detain Metuh. He stated that Metuh’s detention, on the surface of it, appeared to be unlawful, but that he was held by an order of a court,hence he (the judge) would not make an pronouncement on that.
Abang suggested that Metuh should have approached the magistrate court for it to vacate its remand order. He held that he would not sit as an appellate court against the order of the lower court. The judge, thereafter, dismissed the suit for lacking in merit. He also awarded a cost of N15, 000 against Metuh.