Alleged Corruption: Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Northern Youths call for Bawa’s investigation


By Ukpono Ukpong

The apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council, including North Central Citizens Council, NCCC, have called on President Mohammedu Buhari to launch an investigation into the bribery allegations labeled against the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, before his administration winds up.

The call came on the heels of the recent claim by the Zamfara state governor, Bello Muhammad that the anti-graft Czar demanded $2 million bribe from him.

You would recall that the agency had invited the governor on allegations of N70 billion fraud, against which Muhammad told the EFCC to also investigate the Presidency officials on corruption-related cases.

In reaction, the EFCC confirmed that it is investigating the Zamfara state governor for alleged N70bn fraud.

You could recall recently a group, Centre For Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (Cacol) decried the incessant disobedience of court orders by the Abdulrasheed Bawa-led EFCC and seeming politicization of the agency’s activities, highly detrimental to the fight against corruption in Nigeria.

Reacting to this development, the National President, ONYC, Okwu Nnabuike in a statement personally signed by him, Monday, a that the accusation by the Zamfara state governor, “opens limitless opportunities for corrupt bargaining and self-enrichment by the operatives of EFCC under Bawa’s watch.”

He, therefore, called for the sack of Mr. Bawa, adding that if President Buhari fails to investigate him, the incoming administration must convoke a panel to investigate against Bawa.

He said: “Based on the foregoing, it is time for Bawa to pack his luggages and step aside as the Chairman of the EFCC. We even expected that he should have resigned on his own volition judging by some weighty allegations against him,” the Youth Council stated.

“In the past couple of days, we in the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide have watched with dismay the drift currently going on at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. Needless to say that we are not so surprised owing to the fact that in the not so distant past, we had raised the alarm that the EFCC czar, Abdulrasheed Bawa, was merchandising the anti-graft commission.

“However, since he is obstinate about towing the path of honour, we advise President Muhammadu Buhari to do the needful by purging his government of all the ridicule brought upon his avowed anti-corruption stance by Bawa and the EFCC under him.

“We insist that all allegations must be thoroughly investigated by a technical Commission of Inquiry to dig into the modus operandi of EFCC investigations in the last three years by thoroughly analysing records of arrests, investigations, outcomes and final closure of each incident and individual suspects and how the matters were eventually dispensed with.

“But should Buhari fail to do so, the President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu should consider it as one of his very first assignments- to make Bawa step aside and face investigation. This is the only way Nigerians would rekindle their hope on the anti-graft commission,” Ohanaeze said.

Corroborating, the coordinator, NCCC, Comrade Mohammed Eneji, also urged Buhari to restore the integrity of EFCC by investigating its current chairman.

He, therefore, called for the immediate suspension of Bawa, demanding that the federal government begin a thorough investigation into several allegations against him.

He pointed out that the investigation is imperative, particularly for the fact that the commission have suffered a lot of set backs as it relates to corruption on previous leadership of Magu, this also shouldn’t be swept under the carpet.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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