Justice Chizoba Oji, a High Court of Justice in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, has ordered the Inspector General of Police, (IGP) Alkali Baba Usman to put the chairperson of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Abdulrasheed Bawa, to Kuje prison in Abuja for disobeying an earlier order.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) boss, Abdulrasheed Bawa was sentenced to prison for contempt of court.
The Nation newspaper reported that the judge, Chizoba Oji, convicted Mr. Bawa and ordered the Inspector of General of Police to put him in Kuje prison in Abuja for disobeying an earlier order of the court.
Ms Oji, according to the report, convicted and jailed Mr. Bawa on 28th October in a ruling on an application by a former Director of Operations at the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), Rufus Ojuawo.
The EFCC, on Tuesday, vowed to appeal the ruling in an interview with PREMIUM TIMES.
Mr. Ojuawo, a retired air vice marshal (AVM), was previously prosecuted by the EFCC on corruption charges but was acquitted by another judge of the FCT High Court.
In his application levelling a charge of contempt against EFCC and its chairperson, Mr. Ojuawo accused the agency and its leadership of violating the court’s order issued on 21st November 2018 ordering them to return his seized Range Rover (Super charge) and N40 million to him.
The order has been subsisting since the time of Ibrahim Magu as the acting chairperson of the EFCC. The commission continued to disobey the court order after Mr. Bawa became EFCC’s chairman in February 2021.
EFCC’s lawyer, Francis Jirbo, tried to justify EFCC’s failure to comply with the court order during the hearing of Mr. Ojuawo’s application.
But the judge rejected the lawyer’s arguments before convicting Mr Bawa on 28 October.
Ms. Oji then ordered the Inspector-General of Police to remand the contemnor in Kuje prison in Abuja.
“The Chairman Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is in contempt of the orders of this honourable court made on November 21st 2018 directing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abuja to return to the applicant his Range Rover (Super charge) and the sum of N40, 000,000.00 (Forty Million Naira).
“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 Inspector General of Police shall ensure that the order of this honourable court is executed forthwith,” the judge ordered in the certified true copy of the ruling seen by The Nation on Tuesday.
The newspaper reported that Mr. Ojuawo filed the application for Mr. Bawa’s committal in the suit marked FCT/HC/M/52/2021.