An Abuja Federal High Court, on Monday, barred the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, from arresting or detaining the duo of Femi Fani-Kayode and Yinka Odumakin.
Fani-Kayode is a former minister of aviation while Odumakin is the spokesman of the Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere.
They had been invited by the EFCC for questioning following their claim that the commission’s operatives planned to arrest the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, over alleged case of non-declaration of assets.
The case is before the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
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Denying the claims by Fani-Kayode and Odumakin, EFCC invited the two men for questioning, an indication that they might be detained.
Tony Orilade, the spokesman of the EFCC made public the plan to arrest the two men.
But ruling in a suit to prevent their arrest following a suit to that effect, the court headed by Justice John Tsoho ordered the EFCC to stay action pending the determination of the application on notice.
“The respondents are restrained from either arresting or detaining the applicants on grounds of the applicants’ public statements pending the determination of the application on notice,” Tsoho said.
Counsel to the duo, Chukwuma Machukwu-Ume, had earlier told the court that the men had gone into hiding as a result of the threat of arrest.
“The EFCC is established to pursue corruption and not comments made by Nigerians, expressing themselves,” the lawyer argued.