The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, told the Abuja Federal High Court that Ambrose Owuru, the presidential candidate of the Democratic Party of Hope (HDP) in the last election, was declared wanted by a pending case of alleged pending fraud against him in Port Harcourt, in the state of the rivers.
According to the EFCC, criminal charges against Owuru were limited to obtaining money on false pretenses.
The EFCC lawyer, Ibrahim Audu, gave this explanation at a hearing on Tuesday on the request for compliance with Owuru’s fundamental rights that challenge the legality of the commission that declared him desired.
Audu accused Owuru of avoiding prosecution in the criminal proceedings brought against him by the EFCC. Hence the commission’s decision to issue an arrest warrant to 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, DAILY POST reports that 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.