ANEEJ calls for independent investigation of suspended EFCC boss, Abdulrasheed Bawa
- Decries incessant removal, arrest of EFCC Chairpersons
BENIN CITY, NIGERIA. June 16, 2023… The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ, a leading anti-corruption watchdog in Nigeria and anchor of the anti-corruption cluster of the Nigeria SCALE project, has called for an independent investigation of the suspended Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa.
The Executive Director of ANEEJ, the Rev David Ugolor in a statement issued in Benin City today also expressed deep concern over the recurring dismissal of EFCC chairpersons pointing that it does not only undermine the fight against corruption, but gives a wrong signal to the international anti-corruption community.
“We wish to express our deep concern over the recurring incidences of removal of successive EFCC chairpersons. Recall the case of Farida Waziri, Ibrahim Magu and now Abdulrasheed Bawa and it undermines the fight against corruption.
“The case of Bawa is even more damaging, considering the weighty allegations made by former Governor of Zamfara State, Bello Mattawale against the suspended EFCC Chief. The President has to find a way round the current approach of firing a sitting EFCC chairman and start investigation. In other climes, the approach is that you carry out your detailed investigations and be armed with your core evidence, you then proceed to arrest and charge to court.
“Here, the President announces removal, the State then arrests and starts shopping for evidence even for months and years. Since Ibrahim Magu was removed, the investigations have been on and on and nothing came out of it. Nigerians have not been told, till date what his offence was and if there was no offence, government should apologise to him. But if you find infractions with evidence, then you prosecute. So, we should not reduce the office of the EFCC Chairman to some sort of boju, boju kind of exercise.” Ugolor advised.
He further said “President Tinubu should rise beyond the traditional approach of removal of the EFCC Chair via fiat orders which creates a culture of instability in the crusade against corruption in Nigeria. I expected a new approach with the Tinubu’s administration.”
The ANEEJ helmsman further notes that an independent investigator will do a more thorough investigation that Nigerians and the international community would be proud of in taking the war against graft beyond the usual ways of doing things.
He called on Nigerians to rise up to defend the nation’s integrity at all times by joining the war against corruption at all levels of the society.
ANEEJ and its eight (8) cluster members are implementing the “Enhancing Anti-corruption and Social Inclusive Reform Initiatives in Nigeria” project, which is a subset of the Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement (SCALE) project being implemented by Palladium with support from USAID. The project is advocating for reforms in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), to improve the livelihoods of the people of the oil-rich Niger Delta Region.