Release Bawa or charge him to court, lawyer tells DSS

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An Abuja-based human rights lawyer, Pelumi Olajengbesi has asked the Department of State Services (DSS) to release the suspended Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), AbdulRasheed Bawa or charge him to court.

 Olajengbesi made this call in a statement on Tuesday.

The human rights lawyer said the prolonged detention of Bawa by the secret police is illegal and an embarrassment to the nation’s justice system.

Olajengbesi said the DSS should charge Bawa to court for alleged offences levelled against his office as EFCC boss or release him to rejoin his family members.

Recall that, on June 14, President Bola Tinubu suspended Bawa as the anti-graft czar over alleged abuse of office and “to allow for a proper investigation into his conduct while in office”. 

Bawa was subsequently quizzed at the DSS headquarters the same day with nothing heard about the matter for three weeks now.

But Olajengbesi said, “When Bawa was suspended and detained, I joined other well-meaning Nigerians to hail the move by President Bola Tinubu because the EFCC under Bawa violated fundamental human rights through reckless midnight Gestapo raids on hotels and homes of innocent citizens.

“However, illegality should not beget another illegality. Without any contradiction, the continued detention of Bawa by the secret police for three straight weeks now is unconstitutional and a breach of the fundamental rights of the detainee.

“Illegality cannot beget another illegality. The DSS should immediately release Bawa to rejoin his family members or without further delays, or charge him to court to face charges preferred against him by the Federal Government. Anything outside these two options is alien to law and won’t stand.”

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