Justice Binta Nyako of a federal high court in Abuja, has warned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to stop “relying on orders from above” before complying with court orders.
Speaking after granting bail to Mohammed Bello Adoke, former attorney-general of the federation (AGF), on Monday, Nyako cautioned the EFCC and other government agencies to desist from the habit of saying they are acting on “orders from above because no such orders from above are higher than orders of the court”.
She granted him bail in the same terms and conditions earlier granted him by Abubakar Kutigi, judge of a federal capital territory high court in Gwagwalada, on January 30.
Mike Ozekhome, Adoke’s counsel, prayed the court to issue an order restraining the EFCC from rearresting his client.
“My lord, we just want a specific order directing that the defendants should not be rearrested,” Ozekhome said.
Bala Sanga, who is the counsel to the EFCC, however, told the court that the former AGF was yet to perfect the bail conditions.
“Part of the bail conditions was that travelling passports should be deposited with the court. But neither the defence team nor the court has asked for those passports which we know are in our custody.
“The proper thing that should have happened is that the court would have said part of the conditions for bail is that travelling passports deposited with us should be forwarded to the court.
“We knew that glitch was there but, we refused to take advantage of it because, for us, this was just mere technicalities.”
Responding, the judge said: “Mr Sanga, you are very wrong! Are you trying to tell the judge how to write his ruling? Irrespective of where the passports are, they should be deposited with the court. Is it the responsibility of the judge to know that the passports are with you? I will now make an order that the passports that are with you should be deposited with the court.”
Adoke, who has been in custody of the EFCC since December 19, has now been released.
The EFCC had arraigned the former AGF before the court for allegedly receiving gratification to the tune of N300 million from Aliyu Abubakar in September 2013.
Adoke has since denied the allegation, maintaining he is being persecuted for political reasons.