Attempts by former governor of Adamawa State, Admiral Murtala Nyako (retd), to stop the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC], the Department of State Service [DSS] and the Inspector General of Police [IGP] from arresting him over alleged N15 billion fraud failed yesterday as a Federal High Court judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed refused his ex-parte application.
Rather, the judge gave Nyako’s counsel, E. O. Ogungbeje seven days to serve all the respondents with the originating summons and adjourned the case to July 1, 2015.
Justice Mohammed declined Nyako’s request on the grounds that the facts and developments contained in his motion ex-parte took place last year.
The former Chief of Naval Staff, who returned from self-exile on Saturday, May 30, 2015, reported at the EFCC headquarters in Abuja where he was detained and quizzed for over 10 hours.
The former governor had approached the court via an ex-parte application for an interim injunction restraining the respondents from further arresting, defaming, harassing and taking untoward action against him pending the determination of the originating summons.
His motion was supported by a 27-paragraph affidavit and an affidavit of urgency, and a written address to support his claims.
The EFCC had shortly before the former governor was impeached in June 2014, frozen bank accounts belonging to Adamawa State in what it called a precautionary measure to safeguard the state treasury amidst evidence of looting uncovered by its operatives.
The commission had alleged massive looting of the treasury by top officials of Adamawa State Government under Nyako, a development that led to the arrest and questioning of key officials, including the former Secretary to the State Government, State Commissioner for Finance, Commissioner for Higher Education, Accountant General of the state and the permanent secretary, Ministry for Local Government.
The EFCC said its investigation was triggered by petitions alleging massive looting of the treasury by the governor and his cronies through an illegal department called Special Programme and Project Units (SPPU), which engaged in over invoicing and inflation of contracts.
Shortly after his impeachment from office in July last year, the EFCC moved against Nyako but he outsmarted them and fled to an undisclosed European country, where he had been taking refuge until last Saturday.
In January, the EFCC declared him wanted in connection with the diversion of state funds amounting to N15 billion. When he could not be arrested, his son, Abdulaziz, was declared wanted in February this year, claiming that his father used him to siphon state resources.
Several top officials, who worked under Nyako, have also been questioned by the EFCC over alleged money laundering but none has been prosecuted or convicted by the agency.