FORMER Minister of Aviation now Senator Stella Oduah yesterday lost a plea at the Federal High Court in Abuja to stop the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from arresting her with respect to the ongoing investigation into the purchase of two armoured BMW vehicles at the cost of N255m by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority under her watch as the aviation minister in 2013.
Senator Oduah had filed the fundamental rights enforcement suit, asking the court to prohibit the Attorney-General of the Federation’s office, the EFCC, and the police from “inviting, arresting, investigating or prosecuting” her over the allegation.
According to the court presided over by Justice Abdu Kafarati in his judgment on yesterday said the objections raised by the respondents, to the effect that the court lacked the requisite jurisdiction to hear the case stating that no court had the power to stop security agencies from carrying out their duty of investigation.
Justice Kafarati said, “It is not grantable by this court because the court cannot stop security agencies from carrying out their duties. There is no way a person can be investigated without being invited by the body charged with the responsibility of investigation.
“In most cases, the invitation is even in the interest of the invitee because he or she will have the opportunity of giving his or her side of the story.
“I therefore hold that the application seeking to stop security agencies from inviting, investigating, arresting and/or prosecuting any person suspected to have committed an offense does not constitute a fundamental right action.”
The former Minister who filed the suit had prayed the court to declare illegal the alleged plot by the respondents to arrest, investigate and prosecute her in relation to her activities while in office, particularly the controversial two armoured vehicles purchased.
Oduah said she had been absolved her of any wrong doing in the past and maintained that the investigation was going to be used as tool for political persecution against her.
She had urged the court to declare that, having earlier been exonerated, any further investigation, arrest, harassment and prosecution of her person in relation to the same issue, amounted to the invasion of her fundamental right to personal liberty, freedom of movement and to be presumed innocent until proved guilty.