Arrest EFCC Chairman Bawa before May 29 – Group tells Police, DSS
A civil society organisation, Coalition of Concerned Citizens (CCC) has called for the arrest, investigation and prosecution of the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, over allegation of corruption.
The coalition, at a press conference in Abuja on Friday, said the Nigeria Police Force, the Department of State Services (DSS), and other security agencies should swiftly arrest the EFCC boss before May 29 in a bid to stop him from hurriedly traveling abroad to evade probe.
The coalition, which accused Bawa of living a extravagant lifestyle, said he must account for his deeds.
A statement signed by its convener, Bilal Abdullahi, said: “The Coalition of concerned citizens is bemused at the lifestyle of the Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) who travelled for lesser Hajj with his family members about a month ago,”
“We understand the need for a religious pilgrimage for every personal individual, but we have failed in every possible thought to Justify how Abdul Rasheed Bawa could easily afford that luxury without batting an eyelid. It is of great concern to everyone how the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) would opt-in for such a luxury that was not funded by the government, even with an obvious knowledge of what monthly take home is,” he added.
The Coalition further accused Bawa of abuse of office, adding that he should be called upon to account for all the seized assets by the EFCC under him.
Parts of the statement added: “Also recently, a Lokoja High Court convicted and ordered his arrest and committal to Kuje Correctional Center until he purged himself of the contempt, nevertheless, he proceeded to harass, investigate and prosecute those who secured these rightful orders. The EFCC Chairman even expanded his persecution to other individuals who have ever done lawful business with the Kogi State government without fault.
“We humbly ask everyone here, Has the rule of law been changed to favour anyone above the Law itself? Fighting corruption should be holistic, the commission should not look away in some cases where it is expected to act.
“With so many allegations surrounding his stewardship as EFCC chairman, there are also reports of suspects being detained longer than the stip-period without going to court, a move that violates their fundamental rights. This has raised concerns about whether Bawa is truly committed to fighting corruption or if he is simply a pawn in the hands of political Godfathers.”
The Coalition, therefore, called on the Inspector General of Police and the Department of State Service to wade in and compel the EFCC Chairman to obey court orders before he finally collapse the image and integrity of the Buhari administration.
It further urged the security agencies to keep a close watch on Bawa in order to truncate his plans to evade arrest upon the inauguration of the incoming administration on May 29.
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