A federal high court in Abuja, presided by Justice Valentine Ashi, has barred security agencies and anti-corruption bodies from arresting or probing the former Coordinator of Presidential Amnesty Programme, Kingsley Kuku over alleged fraud.
Ashi issued the order following an application filed by Kuku’s counsel, Ademola Abimbola. Kuku is accused of diverting billions of naira meant for amnesty programmes for former militants in the oil-rich Niger Delta.
All that Kuku argued in a motion filed by Abimbola was that he was afraid of being arrested if he honoured an EFCC invitation for interrogation. He complained that having been invited for interrogation by the EFCC, he may be arrested and detained, unless the court intervenes.
However, Kuku who was Special Adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan on Niger Delta Affairs, was reported to have announced that he was ready for a security probe (Daily Times, 24 July 2015) only for him to release photos of himself using clutches after the self-report of a knee surgery (Daily Post Nigeria, 3 August 2015).
Ashi’s ruling barred the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, from arresting, detaining and investigating Kuku’s activities as head of the amnesty office. The order also affects the department of the State Security Services, SSS, the Nigerian Police Force, NPF, the Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS, and National Security Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC.
The judge also ordered the defendants to be put on notice and to appear before him to show cause why an order of injunction should not be granted against them.
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, Wednesday, vowed to challenge the Abuja High Court order.
Also, the EFCC, at the resumed hearing of the motion, Wednesday, asked the court to vacate the order stopping the probe of alleged financial impropriety by Mr. Kuku.
You may recall that court orders like this one have rendered the EFCC and ICPC impotent in effecting arrests and probes on suspected criminals who are highly visible in society. (Additional reports from Premium Times)