Group dismisses call for EFCC chairman’s sack as unpatriotic
The Concerned Northern Forum (CNF) has described the call for the sack of the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as satanic and unpatriotic.
The CNF, a coalition of 79 civil society and community-based organisations,spoke through their chairman Alh Aliyu Sani during a press conference at the Arewa House in Kaduna.
The group said “It is alarmed by calls for the sacking of the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa. While we champion and support causes aimed at sanitising the Nigeria political and social space, especially in the area of fighting corruption, we take exceptions when corrupt individuals and organisations attempting to run from the arms of the law engage commercial activists to make nefarious allegations on those saddled with fighting corruption.
“This is classical example of corruption fighting back and it’s totally unacceptable in any civilised society.
“We have overtime observed that, persons and organisations standing trial for corrupt practices try to play the ostrich. It is no longer news that most of the acclaimed civil society organisations are paid urchins of indicted persons. They employ strategy of smear campaign in attempt divert attention from their crimes, distract investigations and delay administration of justice.
“Several of our members have been approached to for this hatched job to make wild allegations against the EFCC boss and other top security operatives but none of them accepted to be dragged into the dirty game of mudslinging.
“It’s unfortunate that some unpatriotic groups have jumped on this demonic opportunity with gusto, lashing out on the innocent EFCC boss without conscience. They have come with one allegation after the other in the past few months alone. It is either the EFCC boss is accused of diverting seized items or accused of abuse of office and other sundry allegations.
“This recent allegation of disrespect to the rule of law by the acclaimed 130 civil society organisations is not different as it is also aims at diverting the attention of the anti-graft agency and its leadership from bringing corrupt individuals and organisations to justice.
“As patriots, it behoves on us to rise in defence of the anti-graft agency and all other security agencies in carrying out their constitutional responsibilities. We must not allow corruption to wrack the soul of this nation for the benefit of corrupt few. Mr Bawa has so far proven to be fearless and passionate in fighting corruption since his appointment.
“The EFCC has regained the confidence of many Nigerians as the leadership of the Commission has proven not to be a respecter of any sacred cow. Serving governors and their family members as well as aides involved in the web of corruption have overtime been clamped down.
“Mr. Bawa has so far been neutral and impartial in the discharge of his duties. Even his worst detractors cannot accuse him of been partisan as the EFCC under his watch has made high profile arrests and investigations ongoing irrespective of political party affiliation.
“The Commission under his watch has made a major departure from claims that it was a political tool for witch-hunting opponents.
“Mr. Bawa is a friend and promoter of the Law, as a detective, he has the highest regard for the rule of law and will ensure its enforcement in the best and legal way possible. Mr. Bawa is the first career chairman of the commission and the youngest, who joined the EFCC as an Assistant Detective Superintendent (ADS). This didn’t happen by mistake or disregard for the rule of law, but by dint of hard work, dedication, and consistency.
“From January to December 2022 alone, Mr. Saw a led EFCC recorded 3, 785 convictions, with 41 discharged, all over the country, a number that has never been recorded in the history of the commission.
“Fines from these convictions were 378, 930, and 402.12 with 650 total custodial sentences secured across all zonal commands and headquarters and forfeited electronics that included 2,048 phones, 425 laptops, 259 automobiles and 10 TVS.
“Monetary recoveries were, N260, 400, 800,138.93 Nigerian Naira, 876, 138.74 British pound sterling, 650.00 Canadian Dollars, 16,500 Pakistani Rufee, 509,538, 444.15 Us dollars, 2,196,065.00 Euro, 5, 880.00 South African Rand, 8,000 Indian Rufee and 19, 851 Chinese Yuan.
“While in form of digital currency, 4.858924113 Bitcoin, 1,630,123.927 Terra classic, 15.53261207 Ethereum, 46, 216.98 Tronix, 107.486145 Luna Terra and 1, 060.00 Gomining Token were recovered.
“Assets recoveries stood at 9, 713, 500 Nigerian Naira, 38, 050 Us dollars, 2,000 Euros, 24 personal effects, 517 Automobiles, 3631 electronics, 347 plots of land, 2 warehouses, an event center, a market commodity, 3 shopping malls, 250 tonnes of lithium, 27 motorcycles, 6 generators, a hotel, 3 containers, 2 factories, 115 real estate properties, 4 shops, 1 university, 20 vessels and 1, 413.60 metric tonnes of petroleum products.
“The authors of this drama calling for the sack of Mr. Bawa are affected by the above development and want him out by all means, so they can continue with business as usual and appear untouchable in the eyes of the law.
“While thanking President Muhammadu Buhari for believing in the professional competency of Mr. Bawa by appointing him as the Chairman of EFCC, we call on Nigerians to rally round the EFCC and other anti-graft agencies in their effort to rid corruption out of our country.
“The aspirations of Nigerians for a corrupt free nation is legitimate but we must know that Rome was not built in a day and with our support and cooperation, Nigeria will soon be free of corruption under the leadership of Mr. Bawa as the EFCC boss.”