Court Sentences EFCC Chairman to Jail for Contempt

  • An Abuja High Court convicts EFCC chairman for contempt.
  • The decision was made after the Commission failed to comply with an order earlier given by the court.
  • Justice, Chizoba Oji, in his ruling ordered that the EFCC chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, be kept in Kuje Prison until he vindicates himself.

A(caps) high court sitting in Abuja, Nigeria's Federal Capital Territory (FCT), has sentenced the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, to jail for violating the court's order.

The EFCC boss was convicted over the commission's failure to comply with an order given by the high court in 2018, according to a report by The Nation. The presiding judge, Justice Chizoba Oji, ruled that Mr. Bawa be kept in Kuje correctional center until he abides by the order given earlier by the court.

The court ruling is related to a case between EFCC and Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Rufus Adeniyi Ojuawo, a former Director of Operations at the Nigerian Air Force (NAF). The commission arraigned Ojuamo in 2016 before Justice Muawiyah Baba Idris in an FCT High Court on two-count charges including corruption and money laundering.

The accused was acquitted on 21st November 2018 by Justice Idris due to the prosecution counsel's failure to prove the case. EFCC was to refund the sum of N40 million and a Range Rover Sport which they initially seized from Mr. Ojuawo. Meanwhile, The defense counsel laid a complaint through a notice marked, FCT/HC/M/52/2021, that EFCC has failed to comply with the early court order.

In his pronouncement, Justice Oji who presided over the case, stated, "the Chairman Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is in contempt of the orders of this honorable court made on November 21st, 2018 directing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abuja to return to the applicant his Range Rover (Supercharge) and the sum of N40, 000,000.00 (Forty Million Naira)."

“Having continued wilfully 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 honorable court is executed forthwith”.

The court has also rejected an appeal by EFCC lawyer, Francis Jirbo, to justify his client’s action. According to the Justice, he can only make such an appeal after the EFCC chairman vindicates himself of contempt.

Source: Knowledge Trend Media and 
The Nation

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