Prominent human rights advocate, Femi Falana, has urged the immediate release of Abdulrasheed Bawa, the apprehended head of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Bawa is presently held within the Department of State Services (DSS) headquarters in Abuja.
According to reports from Eyewitness9ja, Bawa has been confined to DSS custody for 67 days since June 14, 2023. The investigation revolves around allegations of financial misconduct during his tenure.
In a press release on Sunday in Lagos, Falana asserted that the order for Bawa’s detainment has lapsed, and he emphasized that the DSS lacks lawful grounds to prolong his incarceration.
Falana’s statement emphasized, “Given that Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa is not facing any criminal charges, it is imperative that the State Security Service effect his release from confinement. I am well aware of the contention that Mr. Bawa’s detention is based on a remand decree granted by a Magistrate Court situated in the Federal Capital Territory.”
“It should be underscored that this remand order is now null, void, and illicit, as neither Section 493 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 nor Section 35 of the Nigerian Constitution empowers a magistrate to authorize the prolonged detention of a criminal suspect for 67 days without a trial,” the statement further explained.