Speed up Emefiele, Bawa’s probe, Falana advises DSS

Femi Falana, a prominent human rights lawyer, has called on the Department of State Services (DSS) to expedite the investigation into the cases involving Abdulrasheed Bawa, the suspended Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and Godwin Emefiele, the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Emefiele was apprehended on June 10 by DSS officials on charges related to terrorism financing, while Bawa’s arrest was connected to allegations of abuse of office.

Speaking during an appearance on Channels TV’s Politics Today programme on Friday night, Falana stressed the importance of adhering to the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.

He pointed out that if a Nigerian is detained beyond 24 hours in areas without courts within a 40km radius (such as Lagos and Abuja), the DSS is required to seek a remand order from a Magistrate court for further investigation.

Even if the DSS has obtained a court order to detain Emefiele and Bawa, Falana emphasized that such orders cannot extend for an indefinite period. He urged the Nigerian government to handle the cases in accordance with the law to avoid potential exploitation of loopholes.

“Investigations should be speedily conducted, especially when serious allegations are made. I do not expect any delay in the investigation of the very serious allegations that have been made,” Falana stated.

“In the case of Emefiele, the State Security Services last year alleged his involvement in terrorism financing. Please, quickly do something about that. With respect to money laundering and other offences, take them to the appropriate agencies of the government.

As for Abdulrasheed Bawa, Falana acknowledged the lack of information about the specific charges against him. However, he urged the government or relevant agencies to expedite the investigation and, if they are found to be involved, arraign them promptly.

Falana underlined that if the necessary legal procedures are not met to justify their detention, both individuals should be granted bail.

(Tribune)