A Kogi State High Court, has commited Abdulrasheed Bawa, the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to prison for allegedly disobeying court order.
The court also directed the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, to effect Bawa’s arrest and remand him in Kuje prison for the next 14 days until he purges himself of the contempt.
Justice Rukayat Ayoola in her judgement on Monday,Start slideshow granted the application for committal to prison of the EFCC chairman for disobeying a court ruling delivered on November 30, 2022, wherein the EFCC chairman was directed to produce the applicant in the case, Ali Bello.
Ali Bello had dragged Bawa to court for arresting and detaining him illegally, with the court ruling in his favour, only for the EFCC to arraign him for alleged money laundering three days after the ruling.
However, the EFCC’s applications for setting aside and stay of execution of the ruling were refused for want of merit.
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.
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The court also held that the arrest and detention of the applicant contravened his right to personal liberty and dignity of the human person guaranteed under Chapter IV of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and Articles 5 and 6 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
The court had also ordered the respondents to tender an apology to the applicant in a national newspaper and awarded N10 million compensation for him.
The applicant said the EFCC chairperson was directed to produce him in court but failed.
Bello’s lawyer, Sumaila Abbas, had filed the application against Bawa for arresting and detaining the applicant illegally.
The lawyer argued that despite the court ruling in his favour, the EFCC, in defiance of the order, went ahead, to arraign him for money laundering three days after the ruling.
The EFCC’s applications for setting aside and staying execution of the ruling were refused for want of merit.