The South-West, South-East, South-South and Middle Belt leaders on Tuesday faulted the appointment of Abdulrasheed Bawa as the new Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, describing him as unfit for the anti-graft agency.
The leaders in a statement signed by Dr Yinka Odumakin of the Afenifere, Chief Guy Ikokwu, Senator Bassey Henshaw, and Dr Isuwa Dogo, said Bawa was in charge of the Port Harcourt zonal office last year when dozens of petrol trucks confiscated from suspected looters were auctioned off to his proxies at ridiculous prices.
They also recalled that he was arrested and detained for several days in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, before the erstwhile chairman, Ibrahim Magu, ordered his transfer to the agency’s training school in Abuja pending the conclusion of investigation.
The leaders said, “President Muhammadu Buhari has for the second time in six years forwarded another nominee to the Senate for confirmation as the Chairman of EFCC. Anti-corruption is a star programme of the President and a large part of his following is owed to the anti-corruption propaganda on which a lot of Nigerians were sold.
“But walking the talk has been a challenge for the President as his first nominee, Ibrahim Magu, remained unconfirmed in almost five years because of the damning report of the Department of State Services on him which showed he is a man that should be running from anti-graft instead of looters running for him.
“As they are managing to clean up the Magu mess, he has put forward Mr Abdulraheed Bawa as a replacement. But facts coming out about his latest nominee showed that the whole anti-corruption war is a joke that can only impress the unwary.
“The anti-graft agency is said by reports to have asked Abdulrasheed Bawa to lead its field office in Lagos with effect from August 8, despite a probe of his alleged theft of confiscated proceeds of ill-gotten loot at his previous appointment in Port Harcourt.
“Bawa was in charge of the Port Harcourt zonal office last year when dozens of petrol-bearing trucks that were confiscated from suspected looters were abruptly auctioned off to his proxies at ‘ridiculous prices’.
“Three of his junior colleagues who were alarmed by the sheer mismanagement of priced public assets and other suspicious acts of Mr. Bawa took immediate steps to curb his excesses by filing anonymous complaints to the headquarters in Abuja.
“He was said to have been subsequently arrested and detained for several days in Port Harcourt before Magu, erstwhile head of the agency, ordered his transfer to the agency’s training school in Abuja pending the conclusion of investigation.”
The leaders said they called on the President to investigate and clear the air on the allegation against “this direct cousin of the Attorney General of the Federation before Nigeria enters another Magu season. The anti-graft war has suffered so much damage of mismanagement under this regime and this may be the last straw to break the back of its camel.”