A civil society group, Nigeria Citizen Action Groups (NCAG), has urged the Nigerian Senate to reject the nomination of Abdulrasheed Bawa for confirmation as Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
President Muhammadu Buhari had on Tuesday asked the Senate to confirm Bawa as the substantive Chairman of the anti-graft agency.
NCAG in a statement signed by its spokesperson, ElSalahudeen A Lukman, said the EFCC chairman-designate was in charge of the Port Harcourt zonal office in 2019 when dozens of petrol trucks were confiscated from suspected looters were auctioned off to his proxies at ridiculous prices.
Lukman said the lawmakers should “stand with Nigerian masses, rescue the nation’s commonwealth and do her job without fear or favour”.
“An officer who denied the national treasury of almost N4.88 billion should not be awarded a top job role,” the group said.
The statement read, “The Nigeria Senate must rescue Nigeria’s anti-graft agency by rejecting the nomination of Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa following his nomination by President Muhammadu Buhari in line with yet-to-be clear allegations of fraud levelled against Mr Bawa by the same agency he’s nominated to chair.
“Mr Bawa has been reported arrested and detained in 2019 at Port Harcourt office of the Commission where he was the zonal head before the fraudulent sale of trucks which necessitated his removal and detention by the same Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for selling at least 244 commission’s seized petrol-bearing trucks worth between N20 and 30 million each to his proxies at a ridiculous amount of N100,000 through a shady auction exercise.
“It amounts to ridicule and insult to the sensibility of the anti-corruption war and Nigerian citizens respectively if Bawa is cleared and confirmed chairman of EFCC by National Assembly.
“The legislators should for once again (sic) stand with Nigerian masses, rescue the nation’s commonwealth and do her job without fear or favour. An officer who denied the national treasury of almost N4.88 billion should not be awarded a top job role, it’s a complete abuse of office and fraud until Mr Bawa clears himself of this allegation.
“The trucks are confirmed by a court of competent jurisdiction to be proceeds of corruption and some had even yet to be fully declared forfeited by the court before Mr Bawa hurriedly auctioned them off at such ridiculous prices.
“The fact that Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, was the same person who raised a report on the immediate past Acting Chairman, Mr Ibrahim Magu, that led to his removal and subsequent investigation which is still ongoing with numerous revelation of corruption, bringing onboard a suspect (Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa) from Mr Malami’s state of origin (Kebbi) further speaks volume of suspicions.
“The Nigeria Citizen Action Groups NCAG which remains a coalition of civil society organisations and youth and apex student body (NANS) will not hesitate to occupy National Assembly and EFCC head office in protest if the Senate dares to confirm Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa immediately he resumes office.”