A cousin to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Barr. Azibaola Robert has
petitioned the House of Representatives, protesting what he dubbed
illegal detention by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Robert, Managing Director of Kakatar Construction and Engineering Company
Limited, who has been in EFCC custody since March 23, 2016, urged the
lawmakers to intervene in what he described as EFCC’s breach of his
fundamental human rights.
In the complaint document signed by Dr. Faith Robert, presented to the House
Thursday by Hon. Kingsley Chinda (PDP, Rivers) the petitioner urged the
House to ensure that his rights were restored.
The petition reads in part: “Mr. Azibaola Robert is the Managing Director of
‘Kakatar Engineering and Construction Company Limited’, and its sister
company, ‘One Plus Holdings Limited’. He is a cousin to former President
Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, and a law abiding and peace loving Nigerian”.
“Recently, operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)
arrested the said Mr. Azibaola Robert over allegations of a $40 million
contract which the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) awarded
to ‘One Plus Holdings Limited’ for the surveillance and security of oil
pipelines across the Niger Delta. The ONSA is at present indebted to the
company (One Plus Holdings Limited) to about $4 million, being final
payment for the said surveillance/oil pipeline security contract.
“Mr. Azibaola Robert was arrested and taken into EFCC custody on 23rd
March, 2016 and has since spent over a month in EFCC detention, without
any formal charge brought against him. Preceding his arrest, however was a
raid on his house by scores of heavily armed mobile Policemen who in the
process subjected his wife and young Children to the most dehumanizing and
“In EFCC custody, Mr. Azibaola Robert has been denied access to his
family, lawyers and medicare and repeatedly bullied, harassed, threatened
and psychologically traumatised by EFCC operatives, and no formal charge
brought against him.
“Curiously, his interrogators have told him in very clear terms to say
something to finger and/or implicate former President Goodluck Jonathan,
his cousin, as a ‘front’ or beneficiary of the surveillance/security
contract; else he would face the “Dasuki treatment” and rot away in EFCC
“We note the clear provisions of Chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution of
the Federal Republic of Nigeria, dealing with Fundamental Rights,
particularly the right to dignity of the human person (S.34); right to
personal liberty (S.35); and the right to fair hearing (S. 36)”, the
Going further, she said: “Equally instructive is the fact that upon an
application for the enforcement of his Fundamental Human Rights, a High
Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on 7th April, 2016 granted
Mr. Azibaola Robert bail and after meeting the bail conditions, a
production warrant of the same court was served on the EFCC on 12th April.
Yet, the EFCC has refused to release him on bail or charge him to court,
but continued to treat the order of a court of competent jurisdiction with
contempt. We cannot therefore comprehend why the EFCC would deliberately
violate the above constitutional provisions and order of court”.
The petition alleged that the arrest and detention of Mr. Robert was part
of a larger plot by the anti graft body to get the former President by al
“Also and seemingly to underscore the “get Jonathan at all cost or
languish in detention theory” is the fact that whilst some other persons
who were arrested and detained with Mr. Azibaola have been released, Mr.
Azibaola has been refused his freedom only because of his close blood ties
with Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, the petitioner added.
The petitioner opined that “we are deeply concerned about the health of
Mr. Azibaola Robert whose demeanour, countenance, co-ordination and
cognition are reported to have significantly changed; and such conditions
according to his personal physician could be indicative of a systematic
poisoning with psychotropic/psychoactive and other lethal drugs by EFCC
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