Lawyer Drags DSS To Court Over Alleged Illegal Detention Of Ex-EFCC Boss, Bawa

Barr. Anana & Suspended EFCC Boss, Abdulrasheed Bawa

A Nigeria lawyer, Nkereuwem Mark Anana, has filed a fundamental right enforcement suit against the Director-General of the Department of State Security (DSS), over alleged unlawful and continuous detention of Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa, the suspended Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Bawa has been in detention since June 14, 2023, when he was arrested by the operatives of the Department of State Security (DSS).

Anana in his suit numbered FHC/L/CS/1631/2023, listed the Department State Security (DSS) and the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), as second and third respondents.

The lawyer, said the suit is premised on Fundamental Rights Enforcement (Civil Procedure) Rules 2009, Section 46(3) of the Constitution Of The Federal Government of Nigeria; African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and  Under the court’s Inherent Jurisdiction.

Anana, a former EFCC prosecutor, asking the court for the followings reliefs: “a declaration that the arrest and continuous detention of Abdulrasheed Bawa, former Chairman Economic and Financial Crimes Commission by the first and second respondents, constitutes a violation of his fundamental rights guaranteed by Section 35 (1) (2) (38) and (4) of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria as amended and the African Charter of Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act Cap 10 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004. 

“A declaration that arrest and continuous detention of Abdulrasheed Bawa by the first and second respondents, without granting him bail as envisaged by law constitutes a violation of his fundamental rights guaranteed by Section 35 (1) (2) (3) and (4) of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria as amended and the African Charter of Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act Cap 10 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004. 

“A declaration that the arrest and continuous detention, harassment, intimidation of Abdulrasheed Bawa over an investigation that the first and second respondents lack the powers to investigate, threatens the life of Abdulrasheed Bawa and therefore is unlawful, unjustifiable, illegal and unconstitutional. 

“An order of the Court mandating the immediate release of Abdulrasheed Bawa from the first and second respondents’ detention. 

“An order of the Court granting Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa bail on liberal terms and or an order mandating the respondents to produce Abdulrasheed Bawa before the court to show cause why he should not be admitted bail.

“The sum of N100 million, as damages against the first and second respondents.”

The lawyer in an affidavit deposed to by his Litigation Secretary, Mkpoufo Sunday Edet, stated that Abdulrasheed Bawa is the immediate past Chairman of the EFCC has being in custody of the respondents for a period of about 2 months and more, and that both the first and second respondents arrested him when he was the extant chairman of the EFCC, on or about June 14, 2023. 

The deponent stated that till date the said Bawa has been in the custody of the first and second respondents without bail. Adding that his fundamental right to freedom of movement, has been trampled upon. 

Edet further stated that the continuous incarceration of the said Bawa is against the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, African Charter Human and People Rights. And that Nigeria is not a police state where the whims and caprices of the police prevail against the rule of law. 

The deponent averred that the application is seeking an order of this Honourable Court to stop the first and second respondents from arresting, harassing, detaining and continuous detention of Abdulrasheed Bawa and to release him henceforth. 

The deponent while stating that the deposition he made in the affidavit were in good faith, truth and correct, and in accordance with the Oaths Act, urged the court to grant the application in the interest of justice.

While no date has be fixed for hearing of the suit, none of the respondents has file any counter to the suit.