Kogi State Government, on Wednesday, said no matter how the godfathers of the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, tried to shield him from facing the consequences of disobeying court order, he remained a convict that must join others in the correctional centre to be purged of contempt.
Responding to what it described as the EFCC’s laughable excuse for not obeying a court order that committed him to prison for contempt, which the Commission gave at a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday, the state government noted that unless his conviction was set aside or vacated by the Court or a higher Court, he remained a convict.
The Commissioner for Information and Communications in Kogi State, Kingsley Fanwo, who spoke during a press briefing in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, noted that the EFCC’s recent despairing attempt to embarrass and intimidate some Kogi State Government officials and persons related to the Governor was nothing “but the classic naked dance of a hen whose anus has been unfurled by the wind of truth.”
He noted that regardless of any appeal filed, the conviction and jail term imposed by the Court on Bawa stands until set aside, adding that “if Bawa is not at large, the honourable thing to do is to turn himself in and stop avoiding justice.”
He added that the EFCC boss was deliberately misinforming the public with unfounded claims and outright lies “to satisfy his interested, power-drunk paymasters.”
Fanwo said Bawa “might cry his eyes out that people under investigation are instigating the populace against him” but the fact remained that he had allegedly “been found to be a chronic liar, a vindictive tormentor of the innocent and a hater of justice. These are enough to make people protest!”
“We cannot leave the fight against corruption in the hands of a political hired-gun whose interest is to fight perceived opponents of his paymasters. We cannot leave the fight in the hands of people who breach human rights at will and whose human rights credentials are questionable,” he stated.
“While we might not dwell on the matter like the EFCC is doing right now because of our own respect for the Judiciary, we make bold to say that monies belonging to the State Government are not missing. Like the ‘missing’ or ‘fixed’ 20 billion Naira Bailout Loan, the recent attempt is a political tool to silence the Governor and distract him from the task of garnering support for the election of the APC Presidential Candidate, Sen. Bola Ahmed Tinubu,” the Commissioner added.
He pointed out that the current display of desperation of Bawa to paint the Kogi State Government and its officials in the colours of corruption at all costs was not unexpected.
“Having failed to make Nigerians believe that a 20 Billion Naira Bailout Loan was placed in a phantom fixed deposit account with Sterling Bank Plc, he kissed the dust of defeat when Sterling Bank unequivocally DENIED UNDER OATH that Kogi State owned such an account or such funds,” he stated.
“If Bawa continues to walk free after conviction by a competent court of jurisdiction, it spells doom for our justice administration in the country. We cannot have one law for Bawa and another for the rest of us. That is why Bawa could refer to a free citizen as being at large. Someone who was not invited for questioning; someone who was not informed of having committed any offence; someone who is not a convict like Bawa. If Bawa is not at large, the honourable thing to do is to turn himself in and stop avoiding justice,” the state government argued.
Responding to a live press briefing by a group on Tuesday, in support of the naira redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Fanwo said, “The recent press conference by some ‘very rich’ ‘CSOs’, recklessly delivering the lines of their highly placed power-drunk sponsors in Abuja that could afford live telecast on many TV stations simultaneously, has further shown how some people in high places feel the rule of law does not matter.
“The reason the Kogi State Government went to court to challenge the Naira Redesign Policy, especially the date the old naira will cease to be legal tender, was borne out of the need to defend the survival and the economic rights of Nigerians. The hardship experienced by Nigerians from all walks of life who could not and still cannot access the new naira notes is horrible.
“Nigerians do not deserve such extreme hardship. As a Government of the people, the Kogi State Government teamed up with the Government of Kaduna and Zamfara States and proceeded to the Supreme Court, which in the interim restrained the CBN from enforcing the deadline for the validity of the naira notes as legal tender. The CBN, like its collaborator-in-chief, the EFCC, ignored and disobeyed the ruling, therefore undermining the authority of the apex court of the land.”