N40b fraud: Family of detained cousin of Jonathan appeals to EFCC

Robert Azibaola: detained over N40billion fraud

The family of Robert Azibaola,  who has been in EFCC custody since 23 March, has asked the  Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to immediately charge him to court and allow him to enjoy the bail already granted to him.

Azibaola is a cousin to former President Goodluck Jonathan.

He is being  investigated by the commission over his alleged involvement in the diversion of a N40billion oil pipeline security contract through One-Plus Holdings, a sister company of Kakatar Construction Limited. He was arrested 23 March.

Azibaola allegedly received the payment for the contract which was said to have been made by the detained former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd).

Azibaola’s brother,  Faith who spoke in Lagos today  accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC of disobeying a Federal High Court order which granted him bail.

Worried by his continued incarceration, Azibaola had approach a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja for the enforcement of his fundamental Human Rights.

Ruling on the application, Justice Olasumbo held that Robert’s detention by the EFCC for over two weeks was unconstitutional.

Instead of obeying the court order, the EFCC last week Friday approached an Ikeja Magistrate with a holden charge to further remand him in their custody.

Faith Robert said: ” It is important to note that EFCC, an organisation created by an Act of Parliament has continued to treat the order of a Federal High Court with contempt. Some officials from the commission have even boasted that no court order can be binding on EFCC.

” It is instructive to note that even the remand order by a Magistrate court which EFCC relied on to detain my brother expired on April 19. After several surreptitious attempts to renew the order in several magistrate court failed in Abuja, they sneaked him to Lagos to obtain a fresh remand order from another magistrate court even when there is a subsisting order and production warrant from a court of superior jurisdiction,” he said.

Dr. Robert also alleged that officials of the commission have  been putting pressure on Azibaola to implicate former President Goodluck Jonathan.

“Even though EFCC is yet to formally charge my brother to any court of law, 10 months after launching investigation into his companies, his interrogators have told him in clear terms to ‘say something to implicate’ his cousin, former President Goodluck or rot in EFCC custody.

“In EFCC custody, Azibaola, has been repeatedly bullied, harassed, threatened and psychologically traumatised to either implicate Goodluck Jonathan or be ready to face Dasuki treatment. Some have even taunted him to get his fisherman cousin (Former President Jonathan) beg President Muhammadu Buhari to release my brother “if Jonathan indeed has any clout.”

“They claim that my brother holds enough evidence to lead to the arrest and prosecution of former President Jonathan before May 29, 2016 and must produce such by “all means”

“It is unfortunate that in targeting former President Goodluck Jonathan my brother has become a pawn on the chessboard of the current government. More unfortunate is that EFCC, under Mr. Ibrahim Magu, has constituted itself into the accuser, prosecutor and judge in this matter and has continued to undermine the Judiciary – all in the bid by the acting chairman to curry the favour of his masters and possibly be confirmed substantive chairman of the commission”.