The Police, Department of State Services (DSS), and other security agencies have been alerted to a plot by the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa to hurriedly travel abroad to evade probe.
Consequently, the Coalition of Concerned Citizens (CCC) has called for Bawa’s arrest, prosecution, and potential imprisonment before May 29th.
The coalition, at a press conference on Thursday, in Abuja, said the controversial EFCC tzar must pay for all his crimes.
“The Coalition of concerned citizens is bemused at the extravaganza and lavished lifestyle of the Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Abdulrasheed Bawa who travelled for lesser Hajj with his wife, children, parents, and other family members about a month ago,” a statement signed by its convener, Bilal Abdullahi, said.
“It was revealed that while in Jedda and Mecca, they stayed in Sheraton Hotels which cost about $15,000 for the last 10 days per room Mr Bawa paid for 6 rooms, and the Hotel accommodation for the trip is estimated to be around $300,000.
“We understand the need for a religious pilgrimage for every personal individual, but we have failed in every possible thought to Justify how Abdul Rasheed Bawa could easily afford that luxury without batting an eyelid. It is of great concern to everyone how the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) would opt-in for such a luxury that was not funded by the government, even with an obvious knowledge of what monthly take home is.”
The Coalition further accused Bawa of corruption, breach of public trust, and abuse of office, adding that he is yet to account for all the seized assets by the EFCC.
The statement added: “For the record, Mr. Bawa was found wanting and reported arrested and detained in 2019 at the Port Harcourt office of the Commission where he was the zonal head on 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.
“Also recently, a Lokoja High Court convicted and ordered his arrest and committal to Kuje Correctional Center until he purged himself of the contempt, nevertheless, he proceeded to harass, investigate and prosecute those who secured these rightful orders. The EFCC Chairman even expanded his persecution to other individuals who have ever done lawful business with the Kogi State government without fault.
“We humbly ask everyone here, Has the rule of law been changed to favour anyone above the Law itself? Is Bawa’s primary role as EFCC chairman meant to help treasury looters evade justice? What is the essence of an anti-corruption chief who actively promoted sleaze?
“Just like this extravagant spending has been unanswered allegations of corruption against Bawa himself. Some people have claimed that he has been involved in shady deals using his position at the EFCC to channel funds to himself or his cronies. Others have accused him of using his power to demand bribes from people under investigation, a practice known as extortion, inclusive of reports of suspects being detained for longer than the stip-period period without going to court, a move that violates their fundamental rights. This has raised concerns about whether Bawa is truly committed to fighting corruption or if he is simply a pawn in the hands of political Godfathers.”
The Coalition, therefore, called on the Inspector General of Police and the Department of State Service to wade in and compel the EFCC Chairman to obey court orders before he finally collapses the image and integrity of the Buhari administration.
It further urged the security agencies to keep a close watch on Bawa to truncate his plans to evade arrest upon the inauguration of the incoming administration.