Wednesday, December 7, 2022

IGP Baba unaware court ordered him to arrest, remand EFCC chairman Bawa in prison custody: Police

“I am not aware of any order. Perhaps it was not addressed to us,” police spokesman Olumuyiwa Adejobi told Peoples Gazette.

• November 8, 2022
IGP Usman Baba, Abdulrasheed Bawa

The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, says he’s unaware of a court ruling that ordered the committal of Abdulrasheed Bawa, Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, to prison over contempt.

“I am not aware of any order. Perhaps it was not addressed to us,” police spokesperson, Olumuyiwa Adejobi told Peoples Gazette when asked if the police would carry out the court order.

Justice Chizoba Oji of the FCT High Court on October 28 ordered Mr Bawa to be committed to Kuje correctional facility for wilful disobedience after the commission failed to obey a prior judgement issued on November 21, 2018 regarding Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Rufus Adeniyi Ojuawo, former NAF director of operations.

The court in 2018 had instructed the EFCC to return the sum of N40 million and a Range Rover Sport (Supercharged) to Mr Ojuawo, after he was found not guilty of receiving gratification from one Hima Aboubakar of Societe D’Equipment Internationaux Nigeria Limited. 

The anti-graft agency for four years, failed to comply with the order, prompting Mr Oji to order Mr Bawa’s fresh remand in Kuje prison until the EFCC returned the aforementioned money and vehicle to Mr Ojuawo.

Mr Oji had specifically asked the police inspector-general to “ensure that the order of this honourable court is executed forthwith.”

However, Mr Baba’s assertion that he was not aware of the court order reveals a communication gap between the police and the judiciary.

The development marks the latest instance of blatant disregard of the law under the President Muhammadu Buhari regime.

It was, however, unclear how the order would be executed since Ibrahim Magu was the acting chairman of the anti-graft agency between November 2015 and July 2020 when the order was issued.

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