Human rights lawyer Femi Falana, SAN, has requested that the suspended Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa, be released from illegal detention as soon as possible.
The Federal Capital Territory’s Magistrate Court’s remand order, in his words, “has become spent, invalid, and illegal as no magistrate has the power under section 493 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 or section 35 of the Constitution of Nigeria to authorise the detention of a criminal suspect for 67 days without trial.”
Even though Godwin Emefiele and Bawa, the Central Bank of Nigeria’s suspended governors, had a history of disobeying court orders while in office, Falana urged the Federal Government to make sure that their rights would be respected by the DSS and the Federal Ministry of Justice’s office of the Director of Public Prosecution in a signed statement made available to the media on Sunday.
He said, “However, in view of the fact that Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa has not been charged with any criminal offence whatsoever, the State Security Service ought to have released him from custody.
“The Federal Government should ensure that the rights of Messrs Emefiele and Bawa are respected by the State Security Service and the office of the Director of Public Prosecution in the Federal Ministry of Justice, even though the duo had a penchant for disobeying the orders of the courts, when they were in office.”
He said that “the plight of both suspects should be a lesson for all public officers in Nigeria who always behave as if there will be no tomorrow. However, the Government which rules by law is under a legal obligation not to breach the fundamental rights of citizens except in a manner prescribed by the Constitution of Nigeria”.