Bawa Not Cooperating In DSS Custody, Allegedly Refuses To Write Statement – Source

Former EFCC Chairman Abdulrasheed Bawa Sues DSS Over Prolonged Detention Without Trial

by Ikem Emmanuel

Abdulrasheed Bawa, the former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has taken legal action against the Department of State Services (DSS) for his prolonged detention without trial since June 14, 2023.

In a lawsuit filed at the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court for the Enforcement of Fundamental Rights, Bawa, through his legal representative, Barrister Chinedu Oburu of Edu Oburu & Co, sought a court order to declare his detention without trial as unlawful and to secure his immediate release.

The suit, identified as FHC/CS/2108/23, was brought under the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure Rules 2009, Sections 35(1)(4)(a), (5)(a)(b), 41(1), 46 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, and the court’s inherent jurisdiction.

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In this legal action initiated on October 20, 2023, the former EFCC chairman sought the following:
  1. A declaration that his continuous detention without arraignment or criminal prosecution from June 14, 2023, until the present date constitutes a blatant violation of his fundamental rights to freedom, liberty, and personal dignity.
  2. An order directing the DSS to immediately release him from custody.
  3. Any further orders that the court deems necessary under the circumstances.

The affidavit supporting the application explained that Bawa, who had been appointed as the EFCC Chairman by the government of former President Muhammadu Buhari, was suspended from office on June 14, 2023, and subsequently summoned for questioning by the DSS. Upon his arrival at the DSS offices, he was promptly detained, and he remained in their custody for over 120 days without any criminal charges or trial brought against him.

The legal practitioner argued that the continued and indefinite detention of the EFCC chairman without any criminal charges is a direct violation of his fundamental rights as enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution. He emphasized that this action was taken in the interest of the applicant, the Nigerian public, democracy, the rule of law, and the imperative to sustain the fight against corruption in Nigeria.

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