Court orders remand of EFCC chairman in prison

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From Godwin Tsa, AbujaJustice Chizoba Oji of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT0, Abuja has ordered that the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa, be remanded in prison custody, following his alleged disobedience to a subsisting court order.The EFCC boss was pronounced guilty of contempt for his refusal to return a Range Rover Sport (Super Charge) vehicle valued at N40 million, which the commission seized from a former Director of Operations at the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Rufus Adeniyi Ojuawo.The court had, in an order made since November 21, 2018, ordered the Commission to return the exotic vehicle to AVM Ojuawo, who was on trial.AVM Ojuawo was arraigned on a two-count charge in 2016, before trial Justice Muawiyah Baba Idris of the High Court of the FCT at Nyanya, for allegedly receiving N40 million and a Range Rover Sport, from one Hima Aboubakar of Societe D’Equipment Internationaux Nigeria Limited.However, following a separate proceeding the defendant initiated against the commission, the high court, in 2018, ordered that the seized vehicle be returned to him. But four years after the order was made, counsel to the defendant, Mr. R.N. Ojabo, drew attention of the court to the fact that EFCC had yet to comply with it.It was based on the above development that Justice Orji ordered the arrest and remand of the EFCC chairman over his wilful disobedience to an extant order of the court.“The chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is in contempt of the orders of this honourable court made on November 21, 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.“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,” Justice Orji held.Meanwhile, spokesman for the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, yesterday, said the agency would appeal against the ruling.



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