Fearing Jail Term, EFCC Boss Returns Ex-Airforce Chief’s Seize Range Rover, N40 Million

EFCC boss Bawa fears jail term, returns Ex-Airforce Chief’s Range Rover Sport SUV, to release seized N40 Million.

Bawa was sentenced to prison by a FCT High Court for contempt for failing to comply with an earlier court order.

EFCC notes that its Executive Chairman didn’t disregard the order of the FCT High Court given on November 21, 2018.

Anti-graft agency said that the order was given three years before Bawa became EFCC Chairman on March 5, 2022.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says its Executive Chairman Abdulrasheed Bawa has returned a Range Rover Sport SUV that the anti-graft agency confiscated from former Air Vice Marshal, Rufus Ojuawo, and approved the refund of his seized N40 million.

Reacting to the ruling by Justice Chizoba Oji of the FCT High Court sentencing Mr Bawa to prison for contempt for failing to comply with an earlier court order, the EFCC in a statement said the ruling is surprising as it creates a wrong impression of the person of the Executive Chairman of the EFCC as encouraging impunity.

The agency noted that Bawa didn’t disregard the order of the FCT High Court given on November 21, 2018, which was three years before he became EFCC Chairman on March 5, 2022.

“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 court.”

“Abdulrasheed Bawa, in his capacity as Executive Chairman of the EFCC since March 5, 2022, did not disregard any order of 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.”

“This fact is germane as the contempt process is quasi criminal in nature and must be served on the person involved. In this case, Bawa as incumbent chairman of the EFCC, was neither served form 48 nor form 49.”

“Despite this fact, the Executive Chairman, upon being aware of the said order of November 21st 2018 had released the Range Rover in question to the Applicant on the 27th of June, 2022 and had approved the process of the release of the remaining N40m.”

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had in 2016 arraigned Rufus Ojuawo before Justice Muawiyah Baba Idris of the FCT High Court on a two-count charge.

The former NAF Director of Operations was accused of receiving N40 million and a Range Rover Sport (Supercharged) from Hima Aboubakar of Societe D’Equipment Internationaux Nigeria Limited.

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