The Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Justice Ishaq Bello, has ordered magistrates in the FCT to desist forthwith from granting remand orders to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The EFCC had relied on FCT Magistrates’ Courts for remand warrants to justify its continued detention of suspects being investigated for corruption and other economic crimes.
The commission said last week it had obtained a detention warrant from a Magistrates’ Court in the FCT to enable it keep the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh, in its custody pending the conclusion of its investigation.
Justice Bello gave the directive during his visit to the Keffi Medium prison in Keffi, Nasarawa State, on Tuesday.
The Chief Judge, who expressed concern over the large number of the awaiting trial inmates in the prison, also barred Magistrates’ Courts from entertaining cases on capital offences, including armed robbery and murder.
“Let me also use this opportunity to say this. I understand that EFCC has been bringing some cases to you and you have been granting them remand orders. You must no longer do this from today.
“You must not arraign people for offences such armed robbery, murder and other capital offences before magistrates’ courts which they don’t have competence to handle,” the Chief Judge said.