Kogi State High Court, presided over by Justice R.O. Ayoola, has ordered the arrest and remand in prison, of the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, for allegedly disobeying a court order.
The judge specifically directed the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba in Lokoja, to arrest Bawa and remand him in Kuje prison, Abuja, for the next 14 days until he purges himself of the contempt of court.
The judgment followed the alleged disobeyance of the court ruling delivered on November 30, 2022, directing the EFCC boss to produce the applicant in the case, Ali Bello. Bello had taken Bawa to court for arresting and detaining him illegally after the court had ruled in his favour and also arraigning him for alleged money laundering.
The court refused EFCC’s applications for setting aside and stay of execution of the ruling 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).
In addition, the court had ordered the respondents to tender an apology to the applicant in a national newspaper and awarded N10 million compensation in his favour.