Friday, July 27, 2007
Nnamani prefers prison to EFCC facility
A former Governor of Enugu State, Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani, was on Thursday, remanded in Ikoyi Prison by a Federal High Court in Lagos.
Before the pronouncement of the court, Nnamani, however, stunned the prosecuting Economic and Financial Crimes Commission when he told the court that he preferred prison custody than the facility of the anti-graft commission.
The ex-governor, spoke through his lead counsel, Mr. Rickey Tarfa (SAN). Tarfa informed Justice Peter Olayiwola that the development would be part of history.
A lawyer to the EFCC, Mr. Kelvin Uzozie, urged the court to direct that the amended charge be read to the accused...
Uzozie later told the court that since the necessay pleas had been taken, the parties should be given a hearing date.
He added that he was aware of the accused‘s pending bail application.
The lawyer also said that the commission was ready for accelerated hearing of the matter.
But a controversy later ensued over where the accused should be kept pending the next adjourned date.
Uzozie told the court that the EFCC had the best facility to take care of the accused.
He said, “We are prepared to give them the best and we urge the court to direct that the accused be remanded in the EFCC custody.”
Immmediately he finished his submission, Nnamani whispered to his lawyer, saying, “I prefer to stay in prison.Tell the judge that I want to be reamanded in prison. I will like to stay with my people.”
Tarfa then told the court that his client would prefer the prison to the EFCC‘s custody.
But Onwubuemeli said that she preferred the EFCC‘s custody to prison.
Responding, Uzozie said, “We are surprised about this development. This is the first time that an accused will say that he prefers prison to the EFCC‘s custody.”
But the judge said, “It is an aberration for the prosecuting agency to keep an accused in its custody. When normalcy returns in the country, it will be a thing of the past for the prosecutor to request for such an application.”
He consequently ordered that Nnamani and Anyaogu be remanded in prison (Ikoyi prison) while Onwubuemeli be remanded in the EFCC‘s custody.