Justice Chizoba Orji of a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), has convicted the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, for contempt of court in relation to his agency’s failure to comply with an earlier order of the court.
In a ruling, the court held that “the Chairman Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is in contempt of the orders of this honourable court made on November 21st 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 (Forty Million Naira).
“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 judge said.
Justice Orji rejected the arguments put forward by the lawyer to the EFCC, Francis Jirbo, to justify his client’s action.
The ruling 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 (NAF).
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.
He was accused of corruptly receiving gratification to the tune of N40million and a Range Rover Sport (Supercharged) valued at N29,250,000 from one Hima Aboubakar of Societe D’Equipment Internationaux Nigeria Limited.
But, in a judgment on November 21, 2018, Justice Idris discharged and acquitted Ojuawo on the grounds that the prosecution failed to prove its case.