Why EFCC chairman Bawa should be jailed – Kogi Govt.
The Kogi state government says it is seeking arrest and committal to prison of Abdulrasheed Bawa, the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for being contemptuous of a court ruling given in its favour.
In a previous ruling, a Kogi state high court gave the committal order, after faulting the arrest by the EFCC of one Ali Bello, who is believed to be Governor Yahaya Bello’s nephew. The court also awarded N10million as damages against the EFCC.
Prior to the high court ruling, the EFCC had on February 8 arraigned Rashida, wife of the Kogi governor, and four others including Ali Bello for allegedly laundering N3 billion. Rashida was arraigned in absentia as she is said to be at large.
Reacting to Bawa’s indifference to the ruling, the Kogi govt. says his actions are contemptuous of the court and urges the inspector-general of police (IGP) to arrest him Bawa as “mandated by a competent court of jurisdiction”.
Fanwo equally accused the anti-corruption body of witch-hunting.
He said, “It is sad that an agency charged with the responsibility of fighting graft in the country has turned itself into a pawn in the hands of political opponents with an untamed desperation to damage the integrity of the Governor and the Government of Kogi State.
“The latest shenanigans of the EFCC is to accuse some members of the Governor’s family of corruption, arrest them without any prior invitation or warrant and against extant Court Orders restraining them from doing so and charging them to court.
“This has further exposed the uncivilised, unconstitutional and unethical practices of the anti-graft agency.
“Their latest approach has further confirmed to Nigerians that they have an institutional agenda against the Governor and Government of Kogi State. Nigerians are wiser now and they know when an operation is politically motivated.”
According to him, no funds are missing from the coffers of the Kogi government.
“We reiterate that funds belonging to the Kogi State Government are not missing and we retain our enviable status in the areas of transparency, accountability and probity. ”
“The shadow chasing by the EFCC and their known and unknown sponsors will not distract our administration from serving our people.
“The seeming attack on Governors that are committed to the victory of the APC Presidential Candidate by the anti-graft agency is well understood by discerning Nigerians. No force can stop the voice of the people.
“Our decision to drag the Federal Government to court over the hardship experienced by Nigerians as a result of the apex bank’s monetary policies remains a conviction that we are committed to. We will not succumb to intimidation by any agency of Government.
“We have credible intelligence of plans by Kogites to protest against the EFCC for continually dragging the integrity of the state and its Governor in the mud.
“We however beseech our people to remain calm but steadfast. Rasheed Bawa, the EFCC Chairman, is not bigger than the law no matter his degree of contempt for the Courts and constitutionalism. We will triumph.
“We hereby call on the Inspector General of Police who has been served with the order of Court to immediately arrest Rasheed Bawa and commit him to prison as mandated by a competent court of jurisdiction.
“Allowing convicts to roam about the society portends a great danger to our judicial system. Rasheed Bawa cannot be allowed to continue to disobey Court Orders at will while also evading justice. Let justice be done.”