High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba Alkali to enforce its ruling that the current Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa being taken to Kuje prison for criminal contempt of court.
Justice Chizoba Orji, ruled 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 40 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, Justice Chizoba Orji rejected the arguments put forward by the lawyer to EFCC, Francis Jirbo, to justify his client’s action.
According to Nations Newspaper, the Court ruling delivered on October 28, a certified true copy (CTC) of which The Nation sighted in Abuja on Tuesday, 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.
“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 corruptly receiving gratification to the tune of 40 million naira and a Range Rover Sport (Supercharged) 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.
“Idris held that for the charge to succeed, the prosecution must prove that the defendant corruptly accepted the gift; that he accepted or obtained the gift for himself or for any other person.
“The judge added that the prosecution also ought to prove that the defendant accepted the gift in the course of, or for discharging his official duty, and that the gift was an inducement or reward.
“He held that the burden was on the prosecution to prove all ingredients of the charge preferred against the defendant beyond reasonable doubt as required under Section 131(1) of the Evidence Act, 2011.
“In conclusion, I hold that the prosecution has failed to prove the two counts charge of corrupt gratification under S17 (1)(a) and (c) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.
“The defendant is discharged and acquitted on counts one and two of the charge.
“Consequently, the complainant (EFCC) is ordered to refund the defendant his 40 million naira wrongly paid into ONSA recovery account and to return to the defendant his Range Rover Sport (Supercharged) forthwith,” Justice Idris said as presented by the Nations Newspaper.