– He’s still facing EFCC probe for relooting confiscated Oil trucks
– The position should be zoned to the South
– A woman will fit in for the post
Aside being in his youthful age, which could have been a reason to be accepted by many Nigerians under the aegis of ‘Not too young to Run’ campaign.
The nomination of Abdulrasheed Bawa as the next Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has attracted diverse reactions.
While many applauded the Presidency for its interest in a 40 year-old intellectual. Some have faulted the nomination on ethnic bias, gender bias, and the corruption allegation levelled against him last year.
Is the Appointment Bias?
A close study of the past leadership of the commission shows that the chairmanship position of the commission appears to be ‘reserved for Northerners only.’
The first Chairman, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, who was appointed by former president Olusegun Obasanjo, is from the North-East, Yola, the capital city of Adamawa State.
The next Chairman, though an acting chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde, resumed the office during the tenure of former president Umar Musa Yar’dua. Ibrahim is also from Adamawa State.
The only woman got appointed by former president Umar Musa Yar’dua to the chairmanship position, Farida Mzamber Waziri. A native of Gboko, in Benue State, North-Central zone.
Ibrahim Lamorde (North-East) was again appointed as the chairman after Waziri.
President Muhammad Buhari sacked Ibrahim Lamorde and appointed another Northerner, from the North-East also, Ibrahim Magu.
Magu was suspended in July, 2020 which ushered in an acting chairman also from the north, Mohammed Umar, Niger State, North-Central.
This shows that EFCC has since its establishment in 2003 been governed by five individuals who are all Northerners and only one woman. Yet, the Presidency seeks to appoint another Northerner from Kebbi State (North-West).
It’s inarguable that the past leaders of the commission were selected by different presidents of the country, however, it’s not a taboo to make a move to strike a balance in the commission by nominating someone (preferably woman) from the Southern region.
This is necessary most especially at a moment the nation is battling ethnic tension.
Another fault levelled against the Presidency’s appointment is that Abdulrasheed Bawa has “an active probe of his alleged theft of confiscated proceeds in Port- Harcourt.”
According to an exclusive report by the People’s Gazette, in 2020 “Mr. Bawa was accused of selling at least 244 confiscated trucks worth between N20-30 million each to his proxies at N100,000, or slightly more, per unit.”
This led to his removal as the head of the Rivers State division by the former EFCC head, Ibrahim Magu.
Bawa was moved to EFCC Academy, Abuja, from where he was transferred to Lagos State division as the head.
His appointment as Lagos head also attracted a number of criticisms. A legal practitioner, Mr. Olaniyi Adekanla, Esq. called condemned in strong terms the appointment of Bawa as the head of Lagos State division. He said:
“It is therefore against this backdrop that the extant development in the Lagos Zonal office of EFCC, to wit its headship by one Abdulrasheed Bawa is considered inappropriate and a deviance to the gravity of sanitization of corruption which led to the establishment of this organisation, hence an erosion and bastadisation of its moral and functional values. For the umpteenth time, Lagos Zone of this institution is too important to be headed by any person carrying stigma of infamy either by allegation or otherwise!”
Although, everyone has his/her own past, and it’s generally believe that to err is human.
Does this justify the choice of a stained personality who’s neither acquitted or found guilty of the probe levelled against him?
Absolutely no! The EFCC is thereby urged to complete Its investigation of the alleged relooting of confiscated Oil trucks by Abdulrasheed Bawa.
However, all eyes are on the National Assembly. Nigerians are closely watching if the allegations would be swept under the carpet.