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Why Omisore is still in detention


Former Osun State Deputy Governor, Iyiola Omisore, who has been in the custody of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over allegations  of receiving N1.3 billion from a former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), was denied bail application by a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Maitama, Abuja on Friday July 15, 2016.

Omisore, who was arrested on July 3, 2016, filed the bail application on July 11, after EFCC granted him an administrative bail which involved two serving directors standing as sureties in any of the Federal ministries or agencies with landed property in millionaires’ quarters of Maitama or Asokoro area of Abuja.

The bail condition, according to him, was impossible to meet, as standing instructions to serving civil servants states that they are not to stand as sureties in any matter.

In his ruling, Justice Olukayode Adeniyi said Omisore’s bail application lacks merit as a substantial order for his remand by EFCC existed and was valid when Omisore made his bail application.

The EFCC had obtained an order from another judge of the High Court of the FCT, Justice J.O Okeke, on July 8, to remand him for 14 days.

From the ruling, Omisore will have to wait for the expiration of the remand order (on July 22) before he can renew his application for bail.

According to the ruling, Justice Olukayode Adeniyi said, “In the present case, the remand order was issued on July 8, 2016. It is not in dispute that this instant application was filed on the same date on July 8, 2016 and up till date the said remand order has yet to fully run its course.

“Therefore, by my understanding of the provisions of ACJA, the only time the court is competent to consider whether or not to exercise its discretion to grant bail to a suspect in the same situation with the applicant in the present case is, either pursuant to section 295 of the ACJA at the point the application for remand is made, or in the case when a suspect is still in custody or remand at the expiration of the order of remand pursuant to section 296(1) and (2) of the Act.

“Nevertheless, the court having in its wisdom, and competently so, ordered the remand of the applicant in the first respondent’s (EFCC’s) custody for 14 days which order is still subsisting, any attempt to grant the instant application will be tantamount, in my firm view, to vacating the remand order.

“I do not suppose that the ACJA envisages or contemplates the situation wherein, a court other than a court exercising appellate jurisdiction, having made an order of remand under sections 294 and 296 thereof, should proceed within the lifespan of the same order to make such other order upon the application of the suspect which has the effect of countermanding the remand order.

“The applicant’s learned counsel has failed to show what power this court has and I am not aware of any to make an order in the nature as prayed in the instant application which has the tendency and implication of upturning a subsisting order of my learned brother, Okeke J.

“I must therefore agree with the submissions of the first defendant’s counsel that in the present situation, that the court having made an order for the remand of the applicant for a period of 14 days, cannot turn around to make another order countermanding the same order for remand for the release of the applicant on bail.

“In other words, the issue of bail to the suspect cannot arise before the same court that has validly made an order for his remand during the lifespan of the order.

“In my view, the cause open to the applicant is to await the expiration of the order made on July 8, 2016 and thereafter exercise his rights under section 296(3) of the ACJA to renew his application for bail.

“In totality, and without any further ado, my decision is that the instant application is premature in the circumstance.

“It is hereby incompetent and inappropriate.

“Even though, I have not considered it on merit, the application must and is hereby dismissed.”

-Olalekan Olonilua for

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