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EFCC to Appeal Chairman’s Conviction

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has said it will appeal the October 28 conviction of its Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, for contempt of court, Punch reports.

The anti-graft agency’s spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, disclosed on Tuesday.

“The commission is appealing the ruling,” Uwujaren said.

A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Maitama has convicted the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, for contempt of court in relation to the anti-graft agency’s failure to comply with an earlier order of the court.

Justice Chizoba Oji, in a ruling, held that Bawa was in contempt of the orders of the court made on November 21, 2018 directing the EFCC to return to an applicant his Range Rover (supercharged) and the sum of N40,000,000.00.

The judge ruled, “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 21, 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.”

Justice Orji rejected the arguments put forward by the EFCC lawyer, Francis Jirbo, to justify Bawa’s action.

The ruling delivered on October 28 was on a motion on notice marked: FCT/HC/M/52/2021 filed by Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Rufus Adeniyi Ojuawo, a one-time Director of Operations at the Nigerian Air Force.

Ojuawo had, in the motion filed by his lawyer, R.N. Ojabo, in a suit marked: FCT/HC/CR/184/2016 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.

The EFCC had arraigned Ojuawo on two counts before Justice Muawiyah Baba Idris of the High Court of the FCT in Nyanya in 2016.

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