HomeNewsBawa’s Continued Detention is Illegal, Intervene Now –Kemi Pinheiro Urges AGF

Bawa’s Continued Detention is Illegal, Intervene Now –Kemi Pinheiro Urges AGF

Date:

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Dr. ‘Kemi Pinheiro, has urged the newly appointed Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Prince Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) to effect the immediate release of erstwhile Chairman of the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrahseed Bawa.

Pinheiro noted that Bawa’s continued detention by the Department of State Services (DSS) for 68 days (as of Monday) “without any known charge” was unconstitutional and unlawful.

He warned that by so holding Bawa, the government risked sending the wrong signal to the international community concerning human rights violations in Nigeria.

The senior lawyer’s August 21 letter to the AGF was titled “The continuous and unlawful detention of the erstwhile Executive Chairman of the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Abdulrahseed Bawa”.

In it, he noted that Bawa was suspended from office by President Tinubu on June 14 and arrested by the DSS in whose custody he has been since.

Pinheiro said: “Sometime ago, when the public’s curiosity arose on the cause of the purported ‘unlawful’ detention of the erstwhile EFCC Chairman, the officers of the DSS were said to have purportedly stated that the detention of the erstwhile EFCC Chairman was lawful and pursuant to a court order.

“As at the date of writing this letter, Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa has been in the detention of the DSS for 68 days now, with no press statement issued to the public as to the cause of his detention, or any known charge filed against him before any competent court of record.

“Even while we might believe that his detention may be based on a remand order issued by a court of competent record, it is of utmost importance to draw your attention to the unjustifiable extended duration of this remand order.

“Granted that the said remand order may have been obtained pursuant to section 293 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 which provides succinctly on the procedures to be followed in obtaining a remand order, Section 295 of the said Act also provides an opportunity for a suspect to apply for bail during the course of the said remand proceedings or in an entirely independent action.”

The Silk noted that his present concern is that the continued detention may also be construed as violating Section 35(4) & (5) of the Constitution (as Amended.)

The section guarantees the right of every person, where arrested or detained, to be charged before a competent court of law within a reasonable time.

Pinheiro noted that Section 35(5)of the Constitution further defines “reasonable time” to be a period not exceeding 48 hours, depending on the accessibility to a court of competent jurisdiction from the place of arrest.

He added that in the event that the detention of Bawa “was effected in order to provide ample time for the officers of the DSS to complete any investigation, it is pertinent to state that the period of 68 days is unreasonable.

“What is more, the said investigation by the DSS may be carried out contemporaneously with the erstwhile EFCC Chairman being admitted to bail.

“It is considerably urged by this letter that the rule of law and the interest of justice should prevail and Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa be released immediately so as not to send the wrong signal to the international Community as it relates to human rights violations in Nigeria.”

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