Northern group asks EFCC chair to go over corrupt allegations

(Last Updated On: May 22, 2023)From Sola Ojo, Kaduna
The Coalition of Arewa Civil Society Organisations, yesterday, asked the Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa, to resign over corruption allegations hanging in his neck.
The coalition, in a statement by its Chairman, Adamu Aminu Musa, noted that Bawa’s resignation at this point was sacrosanct to save the reputation of Nigeria, especially as he has been at the centre of so many corruption allegations even before he was appointed as the chairman of the anti-graft agency.
The coalition said Bawa “operates like an emperor”, using his office to “intimidate, harass and force” people, financial institutions, and other government agencies to do his bidding with backing from his godfather in the corridor of power.
“Bawa is a nepotist who forced the DG of NIMASA into sponsoring his family members to study abroad. For example, Mustapha and Hassan Bawa are fully sponsored by NIMASA to study Mechanical Engineering and Marine Operations from 2022 to 2026, and 2022 to 2025, respectively, at the Centurion University of Technology and Management, Bhubaneswar, India.
“On the long list of intimidation and harassment are the NCC that Bawa forced into giving his elder brother (Bashir Bawa) a job, while he employed another member of his family, Yazid Bawa, into the EFCC, Lagos Command.
“This is shameful, a betrayal of confidence, and unheard of in the history of the world that the person leading an anti-corruption crusade is grossly engulfed in corruption. More heartbreaking is his exploitation and extortion of other civil servants.
“Mr. Bawa traveled to Saudi Arabia for lesser Hajj in grand style like a king with family members and close relatives, lodged in a very luxurious hotel that cost the humongous amount of $300,000 for the period of the trip.
“The compelling question is how can a public servant afford to pay for such a luxury in a few days, in comparison to his salary.
“In December of last year, the EFCC announced its plan to sell forfeited properties and early this year bids were made for those properties, six of which were successful, but no details of this bid have been made public.
“Nigerians demand full disclosure of what transpired to avoid a repeat of Bawa’s illegal transaction in Port Harcourt, where he sold off dozens of petrol-bearing trucks confiscated from suspected oil thieves, auctioning them off to his proxies at ridiculous prices, he was arrested and detained for days at that time.
“Mr. Bawa has no regard for the rule of law, operating with impunity, as he has constantly demonstrated, so much so that two courts ordered his imprisonment in less than four months. Thus, the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Abuja found Mr. Bawa guilty of contempt on October 28, 2022, also another court in Lokoja, Kogi State ordered the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, to be imprisoned for disobeying its order.
“Another testimony to his illegality is the fact that he extorts people, using his office, demanding bribes, convictions only take place where individuals refuse to succumb to pressure by the chairman, then he will harass and prosecute them by any means necessary.  This was the case with the Governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle, where he demanded a $2 million bribe and the illegal arrest of Mr Ali Bello until a court intervened and declared the arrest unlawful and unconstitutional even though Bawa never complied.
“We are deeply worried that Mr Bawa, given the nature of his job, should lead by example, putting accountability, transparency, unbiased, and honesty ahead. Instead, Mr. Bawa is using his office to pursue his godfather’s agenda, selectively investigating and charging some people, while refusing to do so to those connected to his godfather or exchanging favours with him.
“Moreover, most of the convictions were online fraudsters, while favoured political office holders were left untouched, roaming the streets with a certain level of confidence. We have, from a reliable account, that Mr. Bawa ordered the arrest of the president-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, three consecutive times through the Commission’s zonal head in Lagos, Mr. Ghali Ahmed. When Ghali Ahmed refused, Abdulrasheed Bawa transferred him to the EFCC office in Port Harcourt.
“We, therefore, call on the president-elect to relieve him of his duty, should he refuse to resign voluntarily, because people like Bawa cannot be trusted, and we believe his stay will deliberately frustrate Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration and the fight against corruption.”
The post Northern group asks EFCC chair to go over corrupt allegations appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.


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