Bawa’s Conviction On Contempt Charge Wrong – EFCC Reacts
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) reacted to the conviction of its chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa.
In a statement by its spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, on Tuesday night, the commission said its chairman did not disobey any court order as ruled by the court.
It was reported how an Abuja high court ordered the remand of the EFCC boss, Abdulrasheed Bawa, over the failure of the anti-graft agency to comply with an earlier order of the court.
Chizoba Oji, the presiding judge, ordered the inspector-general of police (IGP) to ensure that Bawa is committed to prison for disobedience.
The judge gave the order in the motion on notice filed by Adeniyi Ojuawo, air vice marshal (now retired), against the federal government.
The judge held that Bawa is in contempt of the order of the court after the commission failed to return a Range Rover and the sum of N40 million to Ojuawo.
“Having continued willfully in disobedience to the order of this court, he should be committed to prison at Kuje Correctional Centre for his disobedience, and continued disobedience of the said order of court made on November 21st, 2018, until he purges himself of the contempt,” the judge said.
The EFCC had arraigned Adeniyi Ojuawo on a two-count charge before Muawiyah Baba Idris, judge of the FCT, in Nyanya in 2016.
He was charged with receiving gratification from Hima Aboubakar of Societe D’Equipment Internationaux Nigeria Limited totaling N40 million and a Range Rover Sport (supercharged) valued at N29.250 million.
However, the judge discharged and acquitted Ojuawo on November 21, 2018, because the prosecution had not made its case.
The judge then ordered the EFCC to return the money and the car to him.
However, the EFCC boss, Abdulrasheed Bawa said he has appealed the verdict ordering his remand.
Bawa said this on Tuesday while fielding questions from journalists in Abuja.
“We have appealed against it already so we will allow the natural course of the law to take its effect,” he said.
Reacting the EFCC said the court ruling created a wrong impression of the person of the EFCC chairman as “encouraging impunity”.
The commission described Mr. Bawa as an advocate of the rule of law and due process who would not disobey any legitimate court order.
“As far as the relationship between the EFCC and the judiciary is concerned, the Executive Chairman, Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa has been an apostle of rule of law, due process, and close collaboration between the two institutions in justice administration.
“As an investigator, and the only Chief Executive of a law enforcement agency who regularly goes to court, the Executive Chairman will not tolerate impunity or disregard any lawful orders of the court.
“Abdulrasheed Bawa, in his capacity as Executive Chairman of the EFCC since March 5, 2022, did not disregard any order of the court. For the benefit of the public, the said order of the FCT High Court was given on November 21, 2018, three years before Abdulrasheed became EFCC Chairman. ”