A group under the aegis of Anti-Corruption and Integrity Forum has commended President Muhammadu Buhari over the nomination of Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa, as the new helmsman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
By the appointment, the 40-year-old Bawa becomes the youngest person to chair the Commission.
Reporters At Large recalls that Mohammed Umar, a director of the anti-graft agency has been leading the commission in acting capacity since Ibrahim Magu, its former Chairman, was arrested in July.
Magu, a Commissioner of Police, was suspended from office following allegations of abuse of office and corruption levelled against him.
He denied all the allegations but a presidential panel led by former President of the Appeal Court, Justice Ayo Salami, probed him and recommended his dismissal from the EFCC.
In a statement released on Monday by the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Femi Adesina, the President asked the Senate to confirm Bawa’s appointment to replace the suspended acting chairman of the Commission Ibrahim Magu.
Responding to the appointment through a statement signed by the Chairman of the anti-corruption group, Comrade Prince Kpokpogri, described the choice of Bawa as the best thing to have happened at the leadership level of the EFCC.
Kpokpogri, who is also the Publisher of Integrity Watchdog Magazine said the Bawa’s 16 years of experience on the job will be an added advantage to the Commission.
“For us in the civil society, we are happy the President Muhammadu Buhari has considered Abdulrasheed Bawa fit to head EFCC. We have agitated severally that a career officer within the Commission should be given a chance. We are thanking President Muhammadu Buhari for given us a listening ear.
“Having served and grew under all EFCC past chairpersons, starting with Nuhu Ribadu, who recruited the first set of civilians into EFCC (including Bawa) in 2005, the competence of Bawa is not in doubt.
“Bawa was trained by the FBI, KPMG and many other institutions in the UK, United States and Nigeria.
“Bawa has led a number of key corruption and financial crimes investigations including the infamous case of former Petroleum Minister, Mrs Diezani Allison-Madueke, the case of former Niger State governor, Muazu Babangida Aliyu and that of the Controversial crude oil swap. He was also involved in the investigation of petroleum subsidy fraud (2012-2015).
“Bawa has headed EFCC zonal offices in Ibadan and Port Harcourt between June 2018 and December 2019. From Port Harcourt, Bawa was posted to Abuja as head of Capacity Development Division of the EFCC Academy, Karu.”
The forum, however called on the Senate to give the new EFCC boss fear screening.
“It is a new down in EFCC. We are appealing to the Senate to consider Bawa worthy of this position by giving him a fair screening and confirmation.
“We also appeal to the Civil Society Organisations and other stakeholders to cooperate and work with the new EFCC boss.”
According to Kpokpogri, Bawa has a listening ear and will always ready to consult and carry all the stakeholders along.
“Having interacted and listened to him in several occasions, the new EFCC will bring about fresh air at EFCC,” Kpokpogri assured.