National Publicity Secretary of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh, who’s being detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has filed a fundamental rights enforcement suit before a Federal High Court in Lagos requesting for his immediate release.
Metuh, was taken into custody by the EFCC on Tuesday, January 5, after being linked to the $2.1 billion arms fund allegedly diverted by former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki.
The EFCC claimed that Metuh collected N400 million from the said funds but he has maintained repeatedly that the money traced to him was for an undisclosed service he offered to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.
In the suit filed through his lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, the PDP spokesperson claimed that his incarceration by the anti-graft agency is part of a sinister plan by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to cripple opposition and make Nigeria a one-party country.
Adegboruwa, who personally deposed to an affidavit of urgency in support of Metuh’s suit, noted that President Muhammadu Buhari, since his swearing-in in May, 2015 had launched “a massive attack upon the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, in the guise of fighting a nebulous anti-corruption war.”
Metuh, in his suit filed that his detention by the EFCC without access to his family and lawyer, and without being charged to court, is a violation of his fundamental rights guaranteed under sections 33, 34, 35, 38, 40, 41, 42, 43 and 44 of the Constitution.
Metuh’s continued detention, according to his lawyer also breached the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
He also noted that Metuh’s life might be in danger as the condition he is being kept in might be untidy and unhygienic which would lead to ill health.
“I verily believe that the applicant has not committed any offence other than his principled opposition to the ruling government and his arrest and detention are meant to silence the opposition and create a one-party state by the respondents to allow the APC to dominate Nigeria.
“Nobody knows the present whereabouts of the applicant, as to his exact place of detention, his condition in the custody and how he is faring. Recently, detainees in the custody of the 1st respondent have been dying due to lack of proper care and adequate medical facilities, as the 1st respondent is not normally well-funded to function effectively, except to be used by the ruling government to hound the opposition.”
He requested the court to order the EFCC and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), sued as the 2nd defendant, to immediately release Metuh.
The suit has not been assigned to any judge yet nor has a hearing date been fixed.