February 17, 2021

The man Buhari has chosen to head EFCC was accused of a N4bn fraud as head of the PH office. Magu was indicted by the PSC for tampering with EFCC files while the DSS revealed he lived in a N20M-a-year house rented by dubious persons. Why does Buhari want people like these in EFCC?.

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Those were the words of Umar Sa’ad Hassan that jolted ElombahNews into thoughtful investigation on the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa, newly appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Recall that ElombahNews reported earlier in the day that President Buhari appointed Mr. Bawa as substantive EFCC Chairman.

This was disclosed in a State House press release issued by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina.

According to Mr. Adesina, Buhari wrote a letter to President of the Senate, Lawal Ahmad, asking him to confirm 40-year-old Bawa for the EFCC top job.

It was not long before this medium stumbled on a report published by Newsdirect last year.

The report was written when the anti-graft office asked Abdulrasheed Bawa to lead its field office in Lagos with effect from August 8, 2020.

According to the report, published on September 25, 2020, the EFCC management board confirmed a controversial senior detective to a prestigious appointment despite a slate of unsettled corruption allegations.

The report raised concerns of the potential damage the agency could suffer if it continues to reward questionable conduct within its ranks.

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It remarked that Bawa had an active probe of his alleged theft of confiscated proceeds of ill-gotten loot at his previous appointment in Port-Harcourt.

Citing Peoples Gazette as source, the report continued:

“Mr. 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’s took immediate steps to curb his excesses by filing anonymous complaints to the headquarters in Abuja.

“He was subsequently arrested and detained for several days in Port-Harcourt before Ibrahim Magu, erstwhile head of the agency, ordered his transfer to the agency’s training school in Abuja pending conclusion of investigation.”

The report added that the months-long investigation into Bawa’s alleged corruption, marred by a crackdown on Magu himself and other ex-senior officials of the EFCC were yet to be concluded when he was tapped for the top job in Lagos.

It continued: “Mr. Bawa was accused of selling at least 244 trucks worth between N20-30 million each to his proxies at N100,000, or slightly more, per unit.

“A proxy sold one of the tankers to a businessman in Ibadan for N14.8 million, officials said, lamenting that the businessman has been evading invitation and the agency is reluctant to declare him wanted in order not to draw public attention to the investigation.”

It quoted a senior EFCC official as saying: “If you take a conservative approach and multiply the trucks by N20 million each, even though some were far above that price, you will arrive at N4.88 billion for the 244 trucks he sold out.”

“So,” he added, “Bawa is being compensated for ensuring that nearly N5 billion did not go into the public treasury.”

Ironically, it is the same Bawa that has been designated by President Buhari to head Nigeria’s foremost anti-graft agency, the EFCC!

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