A Lagos lawyer, Mr. Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), has urged the Federal government to release the suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, as of right.
Magu is facing allegation of impropriety before Justice Ayo Salami-led Panel of Inquiry set up by the President.
Oyetibo, in a statement on Sunday titled: “Magu Still has Rights” argued that “Magu ought to be released on bail forthwith as otherwise the government would be acting excessively in breach of his rights.
“While it may be argued that the EFCC, which Magu hitherto headed, was notorious for ignoring this constitutional provision in relation to citizens who were arrested under him, the law of karma has no place under our constitutionalism,” he said.
The senior lawyer regretted that the former EFCC boss who was arrested on July 6, and taken before the panel was as at Sunday, still in detention.
The statement read in part: “Although the allegations made against Magu are said to be documented and borders on serious economic crimes and abuse of office, that does not mean that he has lost his constitutional rights.
“Amidst the cacophony of allegations of serious crimes made against Magu, the law of Nigeria still speaks the same language which is expressed in Section 35 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which provides to the effect that every person who is arrested or detained upon reasonable suspicion of his having committed a criminal offence shall be brought before a court of law within a period of 24 hours in the case of an arrest in a place where there is a court of competent jurisdiction within a radius of 40 kilometers otherwise he ought to be released on bail.
“It cannot be said that there is no court of competent jurisdiction within a radius of 40 kilometers within Abuja where Magu was arrested,” he added.