An Abuja High Court sitting in Maitama has convicted the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, for contempt of court.
The EFCC chairman was convicted on Tuesday in relation to the anti-graft agency’s failure to comply with an earlier order of the court. The court had ordered the EFCC to return to a defendant, a former Director of Operations at the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Rufus Adeniyi Ojuawo, his Range Rover, and N40 million.
The EFCC had arraigned Ojuawo on a two-count charge before Justice Muawiyah Baba Idris of the High Court of the FCT in Nyanya in 2016. He was accused of receiving N40 million and a Range Rover Sport (Supercharged) from one Hima Aboubakar of Societe D’Equipment Internationaux Nigeria Limited.
Ojuawo, in a suit filed by his lawyer, R.N. Ojabo, 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.
However, the presiding judge, Justice Chizoba Orji, in a ruling on Tuesday 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 (Supercharge) 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,” Justice Orji said.