A renowned constitutional lawyer and rights activist, Dr. Kayode Ajulo, has described as illegal and unconstitutional the continuous detention of the suspended Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission(EFCC) Abdulrasheed Bawa by the Department of State Services.
Ajulo, in a statement made available to THISDAY, yesterday, in Ado Ekiti, said President Bola Tinubu should caution the DSS over the continuous detention of Bawa, who was arrested last week over allegations of gross abuse of office, with a view of releasing him to face prosecution.The human right lawyer clarified that his intervention on the matter was not to be on the side of the embattled anti-graft boss, but in defense of the rule of law and fundamental rights of the citizens as enshrined in the constitution.
While recalling the past positive contributions of the president to the advancement of human rights in the country, he noted that the DSS should not be above law in handling suspects, which he said were presumed innocent until otherwise pronounced by the court.He said, “Let me posit that I remain an unrelenting enthusiast and advocate of human rights who have consistently clamoured for the principle of the rule of law and good governance. So, I make bold to state that the purpose of this statement is not based on the influence of any personality and it is genuinely from a position of safeguarding the law and its constituents.
“If there are doubts, several pronouncements, publications and demonstrations exist in the record of the polity where I have aired my dissent and loud cry as to the defective administration of some agencies of government particularly the EFCC by its suspended chairman some of which are premised on the unjust treatment of people who go to visit the commission for several purposes as well as the act of fewer regards given by the Commission and its staffs to the accused and legal practitioners.
“In a nutshell, it is clear that I am neither a friend nor a fan of the embattled former Chairman and his administration, but I remain a devoted friend and fan of the law and upholding its tenets.
“What is however worthy of note is that all of these allegations against the suspended EFCC chairman have not been proven and his innocence remains except the Court pronounces him guilty of all.”Ajulo added that, “The continuous detention upon his arrest by the State Security Services remains unlawful, bizarre and a breach of his right to personal liberty as provided for by the constitution and same should not be a measure of torture as it is unconstitutional and only stains the name of Your Excellency and contradicts your foremost principle in setting things right in our nation.
“I hitherto conclude on the whole that the arrest and unlawful detention of Abdulrasheed Bawa by the State Security Service is a ploy to guilt what Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his administration stand for.
“I, on the backdrop of this urge, beseech and appeal to the President and Commander- in -Chief to intra vires look into this issue and order that the captive be set free in a bid to uphold the tenets of the law and properly prosecute the matter for the court to decide and pronounce the suspended EFCC chairman guilty or otherwise of the offence.”