The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has dismissed claims that its newly-appointed chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, has a record of corruption.
Shortly after President Buhari nominated 40-year-old Bawa as the agency’s substantive chairman on Tuesday, February 16, some Nigerians alleged that he was arrested sometime back on allegations of corruption.
EFCC, in a statement released by its spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, said the report is untrue and unfounded.
“The attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been drawn to a report by an online publication, Peoples Gazette, alleging that Mr. Adulrasheed Bawa, the Chairman-designate of the Commission, was arrested and detained by the Agency under former Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, over illegal sale of 244 forfeited trucks to proxies in Port Harcourt.
The publication claims that the illegal sale was uncovered by the suspended Secretary to the Commission, Ola Olukoyede, who alerted the former chairman, Ibrahim Magu, leading to Bawa’s detention and subsequent redeployment to the EFCC Academy, Abuja.
The Commission wishes to state categorically that Mr. Bawa was never arrested or detained over any assets’ sale. 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 reside.
For the avoidance of doubt, the disposal of finally forfeited trucks in the Port Harcourt Zonal Office through a public auction was conducted after the exit of Bawa as Zonal Head. Therefore, it is illogical for him to have been indicted over an auction that he did not superintend.
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 Commission officers.