The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, has been committed to prison for disobeying a court order.
The court 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.
The Point recalls that an Abuja High Court sitting in Maitama, had on November 8, 2022 ordered the arrest and remanding of the EFCC boss at Kuje prison over contempt.
The order followed a case filed against the anti-graft agency boss by Ali Bello, for arresting and detaining him illegally.
The court had declared Bello’s arrest and detention 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)
Justice R.O. Ayoola of the Kogi State High Court, on Monday, granted the application for committal to prison of the EFCC chairman for disobeying the court ruling delivered on November 30, 2022, which ordered the EFCC chairman to produce Bello in court.
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.
But, EFCC’s applications for setting aside and stay 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, 2023 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 10 Million compensation for him but the respondents disobeyed the court order.