Bawa has no corruption record, EFCC defends newly nominated chair

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Tuesday has refuted the claim that his newly nominated boss, Abdulrasheed Bawa,  is enmeshed in corruption allegations.

There were reports of that Bawa has corruption allegations hanging around his neck like an albatross hours after the announcement of his nomination to take over the reigns of leadership of the anti-corruption commission.

But the commission defended him, saying he had no corruption record.

The EFCC Spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, said this in a statement on Tuesday while reacting to reports that Bawa was arrested and removed from his position as Port Harcourt zonal head of the commission for allegedly diverting 224 forfeited trucks.

Bawa was one of the staff members who appeared before the Salami-led  panel that investigated allegations of corruption and financial malfeasance levelled against the suspended EFCC boss, Ibrahim Magu, to answer questions over the diversion of 224 forfeited trucks.

He, however, had reportedly cleared himself by claiming he had no hand in the auction of the assets as it was supervised by a different department.

The EFCC statement titled, ‘Abdulrasheed Bawa Has No Corruption Record – EFCC’ read in part, “The commission wishes to state categorically that  Bawa was never arrested or detained over sale of any assets.

“As zonal head of the Port Harcourt office of the commission in 2019, Bawa’s responsibilities did not include the sale of assets as the commission has a full-fledged Directorate of Assets Forfeiture and Recovery Management, which remit such matters.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the disposal of finally forfeited trucks in the Port Harcourt zonal office through public auction, was conducted after the exit of Bawa as zonal head. It is therefore illogical for him to have been indicted over an auction that was not superintended by him.

“The auction of trucks at the Port Harcourt Office was among the issues examined by the Justice Ayo Salami Panel, leading to the suspension of some officers of the commission. The commission, therefore, enjoins the public to disregard the false publication which is believed to be sponsored by mischief makers to impugn the integrity of the EFCC chairman-designate.”

Bawa, who joined the EFCC in 2005 and who currently serves as the Head of the Lagos EFCC zonal office, still has several officials senior to him, most of whom are policemen including the current acting Chairman of the EFCC,  Umar Mohammed, who is 55 years old.

Meanwhile, President Buhari may have chosen the young Bawa in line with one of the recommendations of the Salami-led panel.

The Salami-led panel had recommended that it would be better if the presidency considered people of integrity, from the commission or elsewhere, who are not in the police.

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