-By Victoria Opeyemi
The Senate has confirmed forty-year-old AbdulRasheed Bawa as the substantive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) who took over the reign of leadership from Acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu who was rejected twice as chairman by the Senate.
Bawa’s open presentation was quite glaring and most have won his way into the heart of the Senators through his eloquence as he was being grilled. The Senate did not have any difficulty to confirm him.
During the meeting with the Senate, Deputy President, Ovie Omo-Agege said: “within a couple of minutes he has been able to showcase himself and I will plead with my colleagues who share in my belief that ordinarily he should take a bow and go.”
Bawa was asked a few questions on the allegation hanging on him concerning sales of seized asset. The anti-money laundering expert denied ever being involved in sales of asset forfeited to the Federal Government when he was the Zonal head of EFCC in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. In his words, “I as Zonal Head of the EFCC never for once sold a single asset in Port Harcourt. I never did.”
On allegation that he was not qualified for the job, the FBI trained detective said he is eminently qualified citing relevant sections of the EFCC Act to back up his claim.
Bawa vowed to fight corruption and corrupt people only within the limits of the law. “We are looking forward for an EFCC whereby as Executive Chairman, if I give an instruction to a junior officer, he will look at my face and say sir, I have understood your instruction but I won’t be able to do it because of certain rules and regulations governing the EFCC, he added.”
Speaking at the confirmation, Senate President Ahmed Lawan exclaimed, “will the Senate approves the nomination of AbdulRasheed Bawa as the Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, those in favour say I and those against say Nay and the I’s have it.” The gavel was hit on the table thereby confirming Bawa as substantive chairman of the anti-graft agency.
However, lawmakers advice Bawa to avoid the pitfalls of his predecessors who is believed to be a political tool against perceived opposition an allegation that the Federal Government and Magu denied.
Transparency International recent rating showed that Nigeria is still a corrupt country despite the anti-graft agency war. The coming of Bawa is expected to keep the agency back on track in order to ensure that its main objective is achieved.