EFCC defends new chairman, Bawa, against corruption allegations

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has defended the newly appointed chairman of the commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, claiming that there is no truth in the allegations of corruption levied against him.

The anti-graft agency’s defence is coming amidst allegations that Bawa was arrested and detained while serving as the zonal head of the EFCC in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital for allegedly selling off about 244 trucks seized from looters.

According to the allegations, Bawa sold the trucks that should have gone for between N20 million and N30 million each for a paltry sum of N100,000 each to his cronies, depriving the nation of N4.8 billion in recovery of looted funds.

The commission, however in a statement by its spokesman, Wilson Uwajuren on Tuesday, claimed Bawa has no corruption record.

The statement read in part: “The commission wishes to state categorically that Mr 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.

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“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.”

It would be recalled that the alleged diversion and sale of the trucks formed part of the allegations levied against the former acting Chairman of the agency, Ibrahim Magu, who was suspended by President Muhammadu Buhari, and faced the Justice Ayo Salami-led Presidential Panel of Inquiry.

Reports that surfaced online after the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina announced Bawa’s appointment, have it that he was briefly detained in Port Harcourt before he was ordered to report at the EFCC Academy in Abuja, from where he was transferred to Lagos as the zonal head.

.EFCC defends new chairman, Bawa, against corruption allegations. . | ..

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