Thursday, 19 May 2016

Detained director’s family asks EFCC to release her

The family of Director of Reporting in the Ministry of Justice, Mrs. Chinyere Christie Ekweonu, has urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to release her. 

It said the mother of four was arrested on May 11 at her office and has been illegally detained by the commission since then. Ekweonu’s offence was that she stood as surety to a relative and founder of First Guarantee Pension Limited, Nze Chidi Duru. 

 The family, in a statement issued by Stella Duru, said Mr. Duru was arrested on October 3, 2011 following a petition against his company and Mrs. Ekweonu stood as surety for him.


 It said on June 18, 2012, the court quashed a National Pension Commission report on the basis of which Duru was arrested. The family said Duru was declared wanted and spurious charges filed against him at an Abuja Magistrate’s court. 

The charges were later quashed for being an abuse of court process. Advertisement According to the family, three years later, the EFCC filed another charge against Duru at the Lagos High Court, Ikeja, on October 5 last year. Duru filed a preliminary objection challenging the charge, which has been fixed for ruling on June 8. 

 The family said Duru petitioned the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, who directed the EFCC to forward the case file to him for review. 

The AGF, the family said, has sent four reminders to EFCC but has got no response. According to the family, Malami’s predecessor, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), also wrote twice to EFCC calling for the case file but got no response. 

 “The continued detention of our daughter, wife and mother, Mrs. Chinyere Christie Ekweonu, is not in keeping with the laws of the land which specifically prohibits arrest of another person in place of a suspect,” the family said.

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