The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has told the Federal High Court in Abuja that Mr. Ambrose Owuru, the Hope Democratic Party (HDP)’s presidential candidate in the last election, was declared wanted for a pending case of alleged fraud pending against him in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
According to the EFCC, the criminal charges against Owuru bordered on obtaining money by false pretence.
EFCC’s lawyer, Ibrahim Audu, gave this explanation on Tuesday at the hearing of Owuru’s fundamental rights enforcement suit challenging the legality of his being declared wanted by the commission.
Audu accused Owuru of avoiding trial in the criminal case instituted against him by the EFCC. Hence, the decision of the commission to issue an arrest warrant against him.
Audu said, “He was evading his trial and the High Court duly issued an arrest warrant against him.”It was on the basis of the arrest warrant that the publication was made.”
Earlier, Owuru’s lawyer, Chukwunoyerem Njoku, urged the court to grant his client’s prayers, including an award of N500m for the damage allegedly done to his reputation with the EFCC’s publication.
He also sought other restraining orders against the anti-graft agency to stop it from further making such publication.
Njoku insisted that the commission had no power to declare anybody wanted without the backing of a court order.
Justice Maha, after listening to the parties, on Tuesday, fixed October 7 for judgment.
Meanwhile, the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal last month dismissed an election petition filed by Owuru to challenge President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory at the February 23, 2019 poll.
Owuru had since filed his notice of appeal before the Supreme Court to challenge the tribunal’s decision.
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