Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrashid Bawa, has reacted to the judgement which sent him to prison.
Daily Trust had reported how an Abuja high court sitting in Maitama convicted Bawa for contempt of court.
The defendant was Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Rufus Adeniyi Ojuawo, a former director of operations for the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), and the court had ordered the EFCC to return his Range Rover and N40 million to him.
Ojuawo was charged by the EFCC with two counts in 2016 in Nyanya before Justice Muawiyah Baba Idris of the High Court of the FCT.
He was charged with obtaining N40 million from Societe D’Equipment Internationalnaux Nigeria Limited employee Hima Aboubakar in addition to a Range Rover Sport (Supercharged).
Ojuawo said in a lawsuit brought by his attorney, R.N. Ojabo, that the EFCC refused to abide by the court’s November 21, 2018, handed ruling ordering the release of his confiscated property.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Chairman is in contempt of the orders of this honorable court made on November 21, 2018, directing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abuja to return to the applicant his Range Rover (Supercharged) and the sum of N40,000,000.00 (Forty Million Naira), according to the judgment issued on October 28, 2022 by Justice Chizoba Oji.
The commission, however, disregarded the court’s directive.
As a result of Bawa’s blatant defiance to the court’s ruling, the judge issued an order that he be sent to the Kuje Correctional Centre.
Bawa responded to the verdict by stating that an appeal had been lodged in a conversation with a Daily Trust correspondent and a few other journalists.
The anti-corruption czar asserted that the legislation would follow its natural course when he testified before the House of Representatives Committee on Anti-Corruption on Tuesday to defend the budget of his agency.
Well, we filed an appeal, so we will let the law play out as it naturally would.
He added that the EFCC asked for additional financing for both its Academy and the agency’s operations, both of which he claimed cost money.
“We need resources to create a brand-new EFCC Academy,” he declared. We are pleading with members to support the creation of this new EFCC Academy because, of course, we must learn. As criminal justice professionals, we must be one step ahead of these criminals, and the only way to do that is by training, re-training, re-training, and re-training again. Last year, N3 billion was allocated for it. This year, nothing was. It will always go on.
He expressed faith that the request would be heeded by the 9th National Assembly, which he characterized as intentional.
He stated that they had a large number of recoveries on record and were operating in accordance with the regulations governing the forfeiture, disposal, and remittance of proceeds of crime. He was responding to questions about the agency’s operations and recoveries made thus far.