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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been accused of detaining a six-month-old pregnant woman, a nursing mother and five others for days without trial and on stringent bail conditions on the allegation of vote-buying in Ekiti State.
The EFCC had arrested the persons suspected to have engaged in vote-buying in Ekiti State during the just concluded governorship election, SaharaReporters learnt on Saturday.
Some of the suspects were paraded at the Oke Ori Omi division of the Nigeria Police Force.
The suspects were reported to have been caught with monies allegedly used for vote-buying. While some other persons were also arrested at a private residence with a book containing details of voters of a certain voting area.
SaharaReporters gathered that the suspects were transferred to the EFCC Ilorin zonal office with bail conditions that were allegedly so stringent and almost impossible to meet up.
A letter obtained by SaharaReporters and addressed to the EFCC Zonal Commander dated 24th of June, signed by a lawyer to the detainees, Asmau Usman Esq. and copied Adeola Omotunde & Co, also confirmed the allegations.
The letter reads in part; “We are Counsel and Solicitors to Abiola Bisola Titilayo, Abiola Mary, Ibrahim Fumbi, Ibidapo Adewale, Abioia Modupe Racheal, Ibrahim Dele and Damilola Ojo herein after referred to as ‘our Clients upon their firm and direct instruction, we make this application as follows:
“Ours Clients were arrested by the men and officers of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State in their residence since 18 June, 2022 and have been in detention til date.
“The offences for which our Clients were arrested and detained are ordinarily bailable offences. Our Clients are not from Kwara State and did not reside in Ilorin and/or Kwara State but Ado Ekiti in Ekiti State.
“None of our Clients has a family, relation or friend in Ilorin. The conditions stated in the Form for Administrative bail given to our Clients dated the 18/06/2022 are so stringent that are almost impossible for our Clients to meet up.
“Our Clients are law abiding citizens who are ready to make themselves available whenever their attention is needed.
“In view of the foregoing, we humbly apply for the variation of the ball conditions contained in the Form dated the 18/06/2022 given to our Oients to allow them enjoy their Constitutional right to liberty. Please, treat with urgency,” the letter stated.
A parent of one of the detainees told SaharaReporters that the EFCC officials had turned the suspects into a money-making venture and were demanding N1million each to free them.
He said; “EFCC arrested some people in Ekiti since on Saturday, some of them were arrested in their various homes and one in Ola Oluwa grammar school.
“They accused them of vote buying and took them to Ilorin in Kwara State. Till now, they are still in their custody without charging them to court. These people were arrested in Ekiti and they were taken to Kwara, was the offence committed in Kwara?
“They are suffering in the detention, our lawyers have been there to take their bails, but they gave them conditions that are terrible. They asked them to bring two sureties each, three years tax clearance, a landed property in Kwara and many more.
“Our lawyers told them that there is no way on earth to achieving such conditions. They now went behind to be saying that, “Do their families have money?” saying we should go and bring money.”