The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja on Thursday put aside the contempt proceedings and all the directives of conviction for contempt against Abdulrasheed Bawa, the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Recall that Bawa was earlier this week convicted to Kuje correctional facilities for contempt of court, pending the setting aside of the order.
The application was brought pursuant to Section 6(6) (a) and Section 36(1) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), Section 91 of the Sheriffs and Civil Process Act, Cap S6 Laws of the Federal Republic of Nig. 2004 and other relevant enactments.
The court found that at the time the order was made, the EFCC chairman was not in contempt of court as he had complied with the order that the respondent’s Range Rover be released and by several internal memoranda, the applicant had initiated the commission’s internal mechanism to ensure the payment of the sum of N40, 000,000 to the respondent.
The court, in a ruling delivered yesterday by Justice Chizoba Orji, set aside the order, following an application brought by the EFCC boss.
Bawa filed the application dated November 11, pursuant to Section 6(6) (a) and Section 36(1) of the 199, Constitution, as amended, as well as Section 91 of the Sheriffs and Civil Process Act, Cap S6 Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004.
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.
“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.