Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Monday Ubani Remains In Detention As Court Grants Substituted Service On EFCC

A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Apo, Abuja has ordered substituted service of processes be effected on the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu over a contempt proceedings initiated by a lawyer, Monday Ubani and former Christopher Enai.

Ubani, a former national officer of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), and Enai, an ex-senator from Bayelsa State were said to have been detained by the EFCC since March19 this year when they honoured the commission’s invitation.

Ubani and Enai are  ‘standing surety’ for Mrs. Ngozi Olejeme, a former Chairman of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), who the commission is investigating for alleged corruption.

On March 26, upon listening to Mike Ozekhome (SAN), who argued a motion ex-parte, seeking the release of Ubani and Enai, Justice Sylvanus Oriji Oriji ordered the EFCC to either charge Ubani and Enai to court or release them on bail on or before March 28.

After March 28, and on realising that the EFCC failed to obey the court’s order, Ozekhome returned to court to seek the issuance of Form 48 (notice of consequences of disobedience of court’s order) and Form 49, seeking the committal of the EFCC Chairman to prison for allegedly disobeying an order of court.
Read Also: Why we didn’t confirm Magu, by Saraki

Ozekhome on Tuesday told the court of the difficulty encountered in serving the court processes.

He said the court’s bailiff, Ishaya Markus, was denied access to Magu by the armed security personnel at his office at the EFCC headquarters in Jabi, Abuja. He said the operatives told the bailiff that he could only see Magu on invitation.

Ozekhome then urged the court to order that the Forms 48 and 49 be either served on any officer at the mail registry of the Chairman of the EFCC, Legal Department at EFCC headquarters or by pasting same at the gate of the EFCC headquarters.

In a ruling yesterday, Justice Oriji  held that the court has the power to make an order for substituted service of court processes where it appears that prompt service cannot be conveniently effected.

The judge, in granting Ozekhome’s prayer for the service of the Forms 48 and 49 on Magu through substituted means, said “In exercise of the power of the court under Order 7 Rule 11, I grant this motion.”.

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