Court remands EFCC chairman, Bawa for contempt

Abdulrasheed Bawa

Refusal to release Range Rover and N40m to retired Air Vice Marshall

A Federal high court sitting in Maitama FCT Abuja remanded EFCC boss, Abdulrasheed Bawa to jail for contempt of court.

Bawa, was convicted for contempt of court in relation to his agency’s failure to comply with an earlier order of the court.

Justice Chizoba Oji, in a ruling, held that “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).”

The judge continued: “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 honourable court is executed forthwith.”

The EFCC had arraigned Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Rufus Adeniyi Ojuawo, a one-time Director of Operations at the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), on a two-count charge before Justice Muawiyah Baba Idris of the High Court of the FCT in Nyanya in 2016.

He was accused of corruptly receiving gratification to the tune of N40million and a Range Rover Sport (Supercharged) valued at N29250million from one Hima Aboubakar of Societe D’Equipment Internationaux Nigeria Limited.

However, in a judgment on November 21, 2018, Justice Idris discharged and acquitted Ojuawo on the grounds that the prosecution failed to prove its case.

Afterwards, Ojuawo had, in a motion filed by his lawyer, R.N. Ojabo, complained that the EFCC declined to comply with the order, for the release of his seized property, made by the court in a judgment delivered on November 21, 2018.

It remains to be seen if the Chairman of the EFCC would actually be committed to prison. The EFCC is expected to appeal the decision.

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Photo credit: The Whistler

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