The judge, Yusuf Halilu, said the Economic and Financial Commission Crimes Commission (EFCC) had no right to detain Mr. Adegbe for more than 48 hours, without charging him to court.
Mr. Halilu stated that the commission had a legal obligation to treat government and the populace in like manner, and frowned at what he described as the conversion of the EFCC into a “police station” by its officials.
The counsel to Mr. Adegbe, Ogwu Onoja, told the court earlier that the EFCC had transferred his client to a military facility after granting him bail on stringent conditions.
That submission was not argued by the counsel to the EFCC, Musa Denga.
Mr. Halilu added that his judgement was binding not only on the EFCC, but also on any agency keeping him in detention.
Mr. Adegbe had taken the EFCC to court on February 11.
His counsel, Mr. Onoja, had stated in the application brought by his client that the arrest and detention of Mr. Adegbe by the EFCC violated his right to personal liberty and freedom of movement, as stipulated in sections 35 and 41 of the 1999 constitution.
Mr. Onoja urged the court to declare his client’s arrest and continued detention by EFCC “unconstitutional”, and a violation of his right to personal liberty guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution.
He prayed the court to make an order directing the EFCC to immediately release the applicant from unlawful detention.