EFCC appeals Kogi court’s ruling, seeks stay of Order committing Bawa to prison


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has filed a motion before the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal, asking for a stay of execution of the judgment of the Kogi State High Court in Suit No: HCL/696/2022 between Ali Bello and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, and Others, delivered on 12th of December, 2022 and the consequential order made on the 6th of February, 2023.

In a February 6th judgment, Justice Rukayat Ayoola of the Kogi State High Court granted the EFCC chairman, AbdulRasheed Bawa, an application for committal to prison for disobeying an earlier court order made on December 12, 2022.

The court also ordered that Mr Bawa be arrested and held in Kuje prison in Abuja for the next 14 days.

Other reliefs sought in the motion on notice, include an Order of interlocutory injunction restraining the Appellants/Applicant from attempting to execute/ enforce the judgment of the trial Court pending the final hearing and determination of the appeal.

In the supporting affidavit to the application, deposed to by Samuel Anele Ugwuegbulam, he affirmed that the Appellants have “strong, good and arguable grounds of appeal”.

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He averred that the trial court did not have jurisdiction to entertain the matter as the alleged infringement of the respondent’s fundamental human rights occurred in Abuja, and no element of it took place in Lokoja. Therefore, the trial court lacked jurisdiction to proceed to hear the suit, a fact which the Appellant dully raised before His Lordship.

He further pointed out that the Appellant had applied to the trial court for compilation and transmission of the record of appeal, but as at the time of filing the motion, the file of the case was yet to be released to enable transmission of the record to the registry of the Appellate Court

That rather than allow the record of the appeal to be transmitted, the trial court proceed to cite the Appellant on 6th February for contempt

The deponent further averred that that, “If the execution/enforcement of the judgment of the 12th of December, 2023 and the pronouncement of the trial Court of 6th of February, 2023 is not stayed, it will jeopardize the Appellants/Applicants’ constitutional right of appeal and exercise of his statutory functions.”

Ali Bello, a nephew to the Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello,who is allegedly involved in a N10 billion fraud, had dragged Bawa to court for arresting and detaining him illegally, despite a court ruling in his favour, only for the EFCC to arraign him for alleged money laundering three days after the ruling.


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