Former EFCC Boss, Bawa sues DSS Over Unlawful Detention

Former EFCC Boss, Bawa sues DSS Over Unlawful Detention

Fawaz Adebisi

The former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, who was freed on Wednesday night after spending more than four months in custody, had filed a lawsuit against the Department of State Services for violating his fundamental rights.

The suit, which was filed at the Federal High Court in Lagos on October 20, 2023 by his lawyer, Chinedu Oburu of Edu Oburu & Co., sought to declare his detention without trial illegal and to order his immediate release.

Oburu stated that he brought the action on behalf of Bawa to protect his interest, the public interest, democracy and the rule of law, and to uphold the anti-corruption spirit and momentum.

The suit, with number FHC/CS/2108/23, was brought against the SSS (DSS) as the sole respondent under Order 11 Rules 1, 2 and 3 of the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure Rules 2009, Sections 35(1)(4)(a), (5)(a)(b), 41(1), 46 of the 1999 Constitution.

In the suit, Bawa asked for the following reliefs: A declaration that his detention from June 14, 2023 till date without any criminal charge or prosecution is a gross abuse and violation of his fundamental rights to freedom, liberty and personal dignity.

An order directing the respondent to release him from custody immediately and any other orders that the court may deem fit to make in the circumstances.

In an affidavit in support of the application, the lawyer said that Bawa was appointed by former President Muhammadu Buhari as the Chairman of the EFCC, one of the agencies established to fight and curb corruption in Nigeria.

He said that Bawa was suspended from office by the Federal Government on June 14, 2023 and was subsequently invited for interrogation by the respondent (SSS).

He said, “That upon arrival at the offices of the respondent on June 14, 2023, he was promptly detained.

“That since June 14, 2023 (over 120 days) that he was detained, he has remained in the respondent’s detention facility without any criminal charge or trial till date.

“That the illegal detention of the Chairman of the EFCC without any charge is a blatant disregard and disrespect for the fight against corruption in Nigeria.

“That the indefinite and unlawful detention of the EFCC chairman without any criminal charge is a naked assault on his Fundamental Rights as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).”


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