By Yemi Oyeyemi, Abuja
An Abuja based lawyer, Chief Nkereuwem Udofia Akpan, has applied to the Court of Appeal, Abuja division to commit the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to two years imprisonment for allegedly flouting the order of the Court.
The legal practitioner specifically wants Magu jailed for refusing and neglecting to pay him N7m compensation awarded against the EFCC boss over unlawful arrest and detention of the lawyer.
In the notice of consequences of disobedience to Order of Court contained in form 48 and filed against Magu, he was warned that unless he obeyed the Court of Appeal judgment delivered on August 14, 2017, he would be liable to be committed to a prison term of two years.
The notice of consequences of Court order dated October 16, 2017 and signed by the deputy Chief Registrar, court of appeal indicated that Magu was already in contempt of the Appellate Court with his refusal and neglect to obey the order of the Court handed down since August.
The Appeal Court had in a unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Emmanuel Akomaye Agim upheld the verdict of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) which in 2011 imposed the sum on Magu for allegedly arresting and detaining the lawyer in an underground cell for 8 days.
Magu was also fined for parading the legal practitioner before the media as a fraudster and paraded to the general public as a common criminal.
In the unanimous judgment of a 3-man panel of the Appeal Court, the EFCC boss was also ordered to tender an apology to the lawyer in a full-page advertisement of a national daily with wide coverage to assuage the depression suffered by the lawyer through his detention with incommunicado.
An Abuja High Court had on May 25, 2011 in a suit for the enforcement of fundamental human rights to freedom of movement and human dignity held Magu liable for the unlawful arrest and detention of the lawyer.
Justice Silvanus Origi had in the judgment in the suit with No. FCT/HC/CV/495/2010 ordered Magu to pay the sum for brazenly violated the rights of the lawyer with impunity.
The Court of Appeal on August 14, 2017 in the Appeal Number CA/A/282/2013 upheld the High Court decision with an addition that Magu should tender all apologies in a widely circulated newspaper to the legal practitioner.
Although, the EFCC boss did not appeal against the Court verdict he has however declined to honour and obey the Appeal Court decision prompt the lawyer to file a notice of consequence of disobedience of court order against him.
The notice of committal to prison addressed to Magu read in part: “Take notice that unless you obey the directions as contained in the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division (Coram: Akomolafe – Wilson; Ajum; Hassan JJCA), more particularly contained in the leading judgment of his Lordship Honourable Justice Emmanuel Akomaye Agim JCA delivered on the 14th day of August 2017 and more particularly contained in page “41” – “42” thereof to wit that you should pay the judgment sum since delivered on the 25th May, 2011 by Silvanus C. Origi of the FCT High Court and tender an apology to the Appellant and publish same in national newspaper which order you have since refused/neglected to comply with since said order was made you will be (and already are in contempt) and liable to be committed to prison.”