Pinheiro, SAN tells new AGF, continued detention of Bawa illegal

Dr. Kemi Pinheiro, SAN, has urged the new Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, to order the immediate release of suspended Chairman of the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Abdulrahseed Bawa.

Pinheiro said that Bawa’s continued detention by Department of State Services, DSS, for over 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.

In a letter to the AGF, he said: “The continuous and unlawful detention of suspended Chairman of EFCC, Bawa.”
He noted that Bawa was suspended from office by President Bola Tinubu on June 14, and arrested by the DSS in whose custody he has been since.

Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN

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. Bawa has been in the detention of the DSS for 68 days now, with no 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.

READ ALSO:Role of judiciary in democratic government: Social engineering or guagmire? (2)

“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.”

Dr. Kemi Pinheiro, SAN

He noted that his concern was 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.

READ ALSO:BRICS summit begins in S’Africa as Shettima inspects exhibition stands

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,” he added.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: