Justice Chizoba Oji of the Abuja High Court has convicted Abdulrasheed Bawa, Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), for contempt.
The judge convicted the anti-graft boss for failing to obey a court order made on November 21 2018, which directed the EFCC to return the sum of N40 million and a Range Rover to an applicant.
The High Court also directed the Inspector General of Police to ensure that Bawa is committed to kuje Correctional Facility.
The Court’s order: Bawa has had about four years to obey the 2018 court ruling but chose not to. In her ruling, Justice Oji said:
“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 back story: In 2016, the EFCC 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 bordering on corruption.
The EFCC accused him of illicitly receiving N40 million gratification and a Range Rover Sport (Supercharged) from one Hima Aboubakar of Societe D’Equipement Internationaux Nigeria Limited.
During investigations, the EFCC seized some of the suspect’s properties, alleging that they were proceeds of corruption.
However, the court discharged and acquitted Mr Ojuawo of the charges proffered against him by the EFCC.
On November 21, 2018, the court held that the prosecution failed to prove its case. The EFCC failed to prove that Ojuawo either corruptly accepted the gifts from anyone or accepted them in the course of discharging his official duty.
Consequently, the judge discharged and acquitted Mr Ojuawo of the charges and ordered the EFCC to return his seized properties.
Editing by Emmanuel Abara Benson
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