BY JULIET NONYELUM
Group under the aegis of Coalition of Arewa Civil Society Organisations (ACSO) has urge the Chairman, Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa to resign or be fired over corruption allegations.
In a statement signed by the Chairman of the ACSO, Adamu Aminu Musa emphasized that Abdulrasheed Bawa’s resignation at this point in time is sacrosanct in order to save the reputation of Nigeria before the world, he said.
“The fourth executive Chairman, Mr Bawa has been at the centre of so many corruption allegations even before his appointment as the Chairman, which was believed to be surrounded by so many controversies and mysteries.
“Bawa operates like an emperor, using his office to intimidate, harass and force people to do his bidding, the banks, other Government agencies and innocent Nigerians with backing from his God Father, the Attorney General”.
“Bawa is a Nepotist who forced the DG of NIMASA into sponsoring his family members to study abroad. 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 himself, employed another member of his family Yazid Bawa into the EFCC, Lagos Command.
“This is shameful, betrayal of confidence, and un- heard of in the history of the world, where the person leading an anti corruption crusade is grossly engulfed in corruption. More heart breaking, is his exploitation and extortion of other Civil servants.
“Mr Bawa travelled 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 few days in comparison to his salary?
“Bawa is living lavishly above his standard and means. How much is his salary as a public servant to justify the kind of life he is living? He is corrupt, using the Office of EFCC Chairman for personal gains. Through one Shehu Ala, his Chief Monetary Officer, his dirty dealings are carried out, this justifies why he spent so much on Shehu Ala, and lavish him with expensive gifts”.
“In December of last year, The EFCC announced its plan to sell forfeited properties and early this year bids were made for those properties, 6 of which were successful but no details of this bid has 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 imporisonment in less than four months. Thus, the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Abuja found Mr. Bawa guilty of contempt on 28 October 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 for 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 2 million dollars 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”.
“For fraudulent activities, disregard for rule of law, 80 per cent of cases under EFCC investigations are not taken to court. Mr Bawa has turned the EFCC into a court of law, where he is the lawyer and the Judge, negotiating all sort of illegal deals and plea bargains that will serve personal benefits and encourage corruption in the country.
“We are deeply worried that Mr Bawa given the nature of his job should lead by example, putting accountability, transparency, un-bias and honesty ahead, instead, Mr. Bawa is using his office to pursue his God father’s agenda, selectively investigating and charging some people while refusing to do so to those connected to his God father or are exchanging favors with him, more so, most of the convictions were online fraudsters, while favoured political office holders were left untouched roaming the streets with certain level of confidence.
“We have from a reliable account, that Mr Bawa ordered the arrest of the President Elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu, 3 consecutive times through the Commission’s Zonal head in Lagos, Mr. Ghali Ahmed. When Ghali Ahmed refused, Abdulrasheed Bawa transferred him to 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”.
“As Northerners, we are highly disappointed by these corrupt practices of Bawa, a bad ambassador who betrayed the confidence of the President that appointed him to lead the EFCC. He is the worst Chairman of the Commission, disgrace to the EFCC and has no bussiness being there. It is a slap on the face to have a man of questionable character and integrity as the head of such sensitive Commission. A disgrace to the North, North is known for its sincerity, honesty and trustworthiness but Bawa is out to change that narrative.
“Therefore Mr. Bawa must be probed, investigated and made to face the law to serve as deterrent for whoever is coming to succeed him, and while the investigation is on going, he should resign or be fired for a smooth conduct of the investigation because he cannot be a judge in his own case. That is a rule of natural justice.
“He therefore must step aside for a more qualified candidate to take over, to probe his illegal doings and bring him to answer to his crimes before the eyes of the law. It is the right thing to do, it is the standard that is obtainable all over the world. After all, he should welcome the idea if he says he has nothing to hide”.