Contempt: Again, EFCC boss, Bawa remanded
By Matthew Atungwu
Abdulrasheed Bawa, the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, has been imprisoned for allegedly disobeying a court order.
The court further ordered Usman Baba, the inspector general of police, to arrest Bawa and detain him in Kuje prison for the ensuing 14 days, or until he absolves himself of the contempt.
In his ruling on Monday, Justice R.O. Ayoola of the Kogi State High Court approved the EFCC chairman’s request to be committed to prison for disobeying a court order issued on November 30, 2022, ordering him to produce the case’s applicant, 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.
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.
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).
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.