Abdulrasheed Bawa, chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has been sentenced to prison by a Kogi State High Court for allegedly disobeying a court order.
In addition, the court ordered Usman Baba, the Inspector General of Police, to arrest Bawa and keep him in Kuje prison for 14 days until he absolves himself of the contempt.
In her ruling on Monday, Start slideshow, Justice Rukayat Ayoola granted the EFCC chairman’s request to be committed to prison for disobeying a court ruling from November 30, 2022, in which the EFCC chairman was ordered to produce the applicant in the case, Ali Bello.
After dragging Bawa to court for illegally arresting and detaining him, Ali Bello received a favorable ruling from the court, only for the EFCC to arraign him for alleged money laundering three days later.
However, the EFCC’s requests for a stay of execution and setting aside of the ruling were denied for lack of merit.
The Court 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 first and second respondents, respectively, in Form 49, Order IX, Rule 13, marked “HCL/697M/2022.”
The court also decided that the applicant’s arrest and detention violated his right to personal liberty and the dignity of the human person, which is protected by Articles 5 and 6 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and Chapter IV of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
In addition, the court had awarded the applicant N10 million in compensation and ordered the respondents to apologize to him in a national newspaper.
The applicant claimed that the EFCC chairperson was tasked with bringing him before the court but did not.
Sumaila Abbas, Bello’s attorney, had filed the complaint against Bawa for illegally detaining and arresting the applicant.
The attorney argued that the EFCC proceeded to arraign him for money laundering three days after the court’s ruling, in defiance of the order.
The EFCC’s requests to stay the ruling’s implementation and set it aside were denied for lack of merit.