May 18, 2024
Again, Anti-Corruption CSOs Insist EFCC Chairman Must Step Aside
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Again, Anti-Corruption CSOs Insist EFCC Chairman Must Step Aside

Representatives of over 100 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have resumed their call for the sack of the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, over alleged politicisation of the commission, disobedience of court orders and infringement of the human rights of some Nigerians.

They spoke at a joint press conference held in Lagos on Tuesday.

The activists said they had opposed the confirmation of Bawa before his appointment over alleged corrupt practices but till now, Bawa has not cleared himself of all the allegations against him.

They also called on the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba to immediately swing into action and thoroughly investigate the allegations.

The Chairman, Centre for Anti-corruption and Open Leadership, Debo Adeniran; and the Executive Director, Centre for Public Accountability, Olufemi Lawson said, “Rather than act honourably and step aside in view of his status as a convicted official, Mr. Bawa has continued to act as if Nigerian laws are made differently for different Nigerians.

“He has continued to approach the courts to secure convictions in alleged criminal matters even when he has remained defiant to the judgments of the same courts.

READ ALSO: Former EFCC Prosecutor Sues Akwa Ibom Governor Over 13% Derivation Refunds

“To the best of our knowledge, the judgment committing the EFCC Chairman to Kuje prison for contempt has yet to be upturned by any higher court in the country. Our position therefore remains that the subsisting Court orders must be obeyed before any further actions can be considered by Mr. Bawa.”

“Recall that at the last town hall meeting of this Coalition, we requested through a seven-day ultimatum, that the Inspector General of Police enforce the order of the court and ensure the arrest of Mr Bawa as ordered. Today, we are here to restate that the Inspector-General of Police is duty-bound as directed by the court to produce Mr Bawa in order to ensure that he serves his prison term.

“We want to, on this note, commend President Muhammadu Buhari for bailing the country out of a Judicial quagmire by dissociating the Presidency from any act of disobedience to court orders and making the Central Bank of Nigeria comply with a Supreme Court order that extended the validity of old naira notes till December 31, 2023.

“As this is expected to ease the pain of the masses, we hereby call on the President to wade into the seeming fixation of the EFCC on certain individuals and the desperation of the Chairman of the Commission to score cheap political goals through unwarranted media trials of non-convicted individuals in the country. Mr. Bawa must step aside until he purges himself of contempt as ruled by the High Court.”

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