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NBA has meanwhile requested that the EFCC discipline its agents who broke into Justice Mbaba's residence.

On Wednesday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) entered the residence of Justice Ita Mbaba, the presiding justice of the Court of Appeal, Kano Division.

The building is situated in the Nasarawa Government Reservation Area of Kano on Sheik Yusuf Adam Game Street, off Race Cross Road.

"In the early hours of this morning, armed individuals claiming to be from the EFCC broke into the residence of the presiding justice of the Court of Appeal, Kano Division. When will the craziness end? We won't stand by and let this happen. Adesina Adegbite, General Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association, tweeted the hashtag #impunitymustend.

The invasion occurs shortly after Justice Mbaba issued a minority decision in favor of Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, a 22-year-old singer who was convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to death by hanging by an upper Shari'a court in the state presided over by Muhammad Aliyu Kani.

However, Justices B. M. Ugo and Abubakar Muaz Lamido dissented with his decision, upholding the Kano State High Court's ruling and subsequently ordering the musician's retrial.

NBA has meanwhile requested that the EFCC discipline its agents who broke into Justice Mbaba's residence.

In a statement on Wednesday, the association's president, Yakubu Maikyau, also urged the commission to publicly apologize to the judge who presided over the Kano Division of the Court of Appeal.

The anti-graft agency's response, according to Maikyau, "went short of expressing an apology to His Lordship and the Judiciary for the violation of His Lordship's privacy and the resulting embarrassment by its agents' acts,"

Such verification may have been carried out through a civil process, at a more suitable hour of the day, and without the need of armed agents. We must respect the Rule of Law and the due process since we live in a nation of laws and regulations.

"I therefore urge the EFCC to issue a public apology to His Lordship, the Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal, Kano Division, and the whole court in addition to taking necessary disciplinary measures against the involved officers. The NBA will keep an eye on compliance with these requirements.

The EFCC had previously acknowledged in a statement that its agents had visited the Judge's home, adding that the visit was part of a property verification effort.

Wilson Uwujaren, the agency's spokesman, claimed that Justice Mbaba could not have been the focus of its investigations because he had no connection to the property's ownership.

The EFC said, "The attention of the EFC has been drawn to some reports in the Social Media, alleging that its operatives in the Kano Zonal Command, "invaded" the residence of the Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal, Kano Division, Honourable Justice Ita Mbaba, located on Sheik Yusuf Adam Game street, off Race Cross Road, Nassarawa Government Reservation Area, Kano.

There is no truth, connection, or nexus with any investigation of the Honorable Justice of the Court of Appeal, even though it is true that Commission personnel visited the home of Hon. Justice Mbaba as part of a property verification exercise because of an ongoing matter involving the owner of the property.

The information at hand demonstrates that Hon. Justice Mbaba is not the property's owner and cannot, thus, be the focus of any Commission investigation.

"We want to reiterate that the EFCC is not looking into Hon. Justice Ita Mbaba in any way. The Commission has the utmost respect for the judiciary and will not act in a way that would put any court personnel in the public eye.



source: saharareporters

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