Court again sentences EFCC chairman Bawa to Kuje prison

The Kogi State High Court sitting in Lokoja has sentenced the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, to prison.

Justice Rukayat Ayoola of the Kogi State High Court ruled that Bawa should be picked up and remanded in Kuje prison for disobeying a court order.

Ayoola also directed the Inspector General of Police to effect Bawa’s arrest and remand him in Kuje prison for the next 14 days until he purges himself of the contempt.

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In his ruling, the judge granted an application for Bawa to be remanded in prison because he disobeyed a court ruling delivered on November 30, 2022, wherein the EFCC chairman was directed to produce the applicant in the case, Ali Bello.

Counsel to the applicant, Sumaila Abbas, had dragged Bawa to court for arresting and detaining Bello illegally, with the court ruling in his favour, only for the EFCC to arraign him for alleged money laundering three days after the ruling.

 

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The EFCC’s applications for setting aside and staying of execution of the ruling were refused for want of merit.

According to the report, the Court had, in Form 49, Order IX, Rule 13, marked, “HCL/697M/2022” and titled, “Notice to Show Cause Why Order of Committal Should not be Made,” asked the EFCC Chairman to appear before it on January 18, 2022 to explain why he should not be jailed for flouting the order given on December 12, 2022 in a case filed by Ali Bello against the EFCC and Bawa, as the 1st and 2nd respondents, respectively.

In its decision, the court ordered that the EFCC and Bawa be served the motion of notice together with Form 49 by substituted means.

The court had declared the arrest and detention of the applicant in the face of a subsisting court order made by a court of competent jurisdiction and without a warrant of arrest “or being informed of the offence for which he was arrested” as unlawful, unconstitutional, and in contravention of the personal liberty and dignity of human person guaranteed under Chapter IV of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

Also, the court had ordered the respondents to tender an apology to the applicant in a national newspaper and awarded N10million compensation for him but the respondents disobeyed the court order.

 

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