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We are taking steps to secure Fayose’s release – Ozekhome

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Human rights lawyer , Chief Mike Ozekhome ( SAN ) , said efforts had begun to secure release of former Governor of Ekiti State , Mr Ayodele Fayose , from Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC ) custody .
Ozekhome said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Thursday .

Fayose , whose tenure as governor ended on Monday, had on Tuesday reported at the EFCC office in Abuja to answer to some allegations levelled against him while in office as governor .

Ozekhome said “ Fayose ’ s lawyers are already taking steps to enforce his fundamental human rights by getting him released .

“Yes , his lawyers will go to court to enforce his fundamental human rights .

“The EFCC has no right to keep him for over 24 hours .

“If they have done that by obtaining a Magistrate Court ’ s Order that will be in the form of “ holding charge ” which has been declared unconstitutional and illegal by the Supreme Court.

“Holding charge is illegal . It is unconstitutional . ’’

Ozekhome said that the section of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act ( ACJA) permitting a magistrate to detain a suspect for 14 days was illegal.

According to him , any action outside the provisions of Section 35 of the Constitution which specifically provides for 24 hours , is illegal and unconstitutional .

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He explained that the ACJA allowed for detention of a suspect for 14 days , but that Section 35 of the Constitution made it clear that a person could only be detained for 24 hours .

“ So , when there is a clash between the statute , like the ACJA, and the Constitution, the Constitution prevails by virtue of Section 1 ( 3 ) .

“If they have gotten an order for two weeks from the magistrate court , it is unconstitutional , ” Ozekhome stressed .

( NAN )

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