Human rights activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Femi Falana, has called on the Federal Government to order the release of former Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, from the custody of Department of State Services (DSS).
Falana, who noted that the remand order against Bawa had expired, said under the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), cumulative lifespan of a remand order is 56 days. Therefore, having exceeded the detention period permitted by the Act and the Constitution of Nigeria, DSS should be directed to release Bawa from illegal custody without further delay.
He said Federal Government should ensure that the rights of former Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele, and Bawa are respected by the DSS and office of the Director of Public Prosecution at the Federal Ministry of Justice, even though the duo had a penchant for disobeying court orders, while they were in office.
“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 legal obligation not to breach the fundamental rights of citizens, except in a manner prescribed by the Constitution,” he said.
Stressing that he had earlier demanded immediate release of Emefiele and Bawa, Falana said: “I requested the Federal Government to charge the two detained suspects before a court of competent jurisdiction, if there was evidence they had committed criminal offences.
“It is public knowledge that Emefiele was recently charged with illegal possession of firearms before the Lagos Judicial Division of the Federal High Court. Even though he was granted bail, the DSS treated the order of the court with contempt.’’