'I was never arrested for corruption,' EFCC boss Bawa says

Bawa hopes to leave the EFCC a better and more transparent place.

EFCC chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa [Tope Brown]

The new chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, says he's never been arrested on corruption allegations before.

President Muhammadu Buhari wrote the National Assembly on February 16, 2021 to request Bawa's confirmation as EFCC chief, but he's been dogged by corruption allegations.

Peoples Gazette, an online news platform, reported last year that the 40-year-old was detained for alleged theft of confiscated proceeds of ill-gotten loot when he was heading the Port Harcourt zonal office of the EFCC.

The anti-graft agency has since dismissed the allegation since his appointment was announced, noting that the sale of the forfeited trucks was conducted after Bawa left the Port Harcourt division.

Bawa repeated the denial during his screening before senators in the upper chamber of the National Assembly on Wednesday, February 24.

He said he wasn't involved in any probe, and that he shares a cordial relationship with the former boss of the agency, Ibrahim Magu.

During nearly two hours of questioning, Bawa answered numerous questions from lawmakers ranging from the operations of the EFCC, process of asset forfeiture, management and disposal, and prosecution of offenders.

He said he hopes to leave the EFCC a better and more transparent place at the end of his tenure, if confirmed.

"I am going to give the young people a very good representation in the governance of this country so that more young people will be given more responsibility in this country," he said.

Many lawmakers praised Bawa for his years of service, and noted that his appointment is a manifestation of the demands of young Nigerians to occupy top leadership positions.

Senators approved his appointment in a unanimous vote.

He will take over from Mohammed Umar Abba who was appointed acting chairman last year to replace Magu who was indicted for numerous corruption allegations.

President Buhari is yet to act on the report of a committee that investigated the allegations against Magu who was acting chairman for five years because the Senate refused to confirm his appointment.

Bawa is the EFCC's fourth substantive chairman, and the youngest.


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