The appointment of Mr. Bawa Abdulrasheed as the substantive Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), may have put to rest the question of who becomes the Chairman of the Commission after Ibrahim Magu was unceremoniously booted out of office owing to alleged corrupt practices and high handedness levelled against him by the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami. The President had since written to Senate, requesting for the new EFCC Boss Confirmation. Before now, it was Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Mohammed Umar Abba that held sway on acting capacity from 27th July, 2020 till now the baton changed with the appointment of Bawa. It then means that Nigerians will begin to feel the impact of the agency especially now corruption they say “is still fighting back”.
The development in EFCC in the recent years had become the case of a hunter, being hunted, arising from the fact that, most EFCC Chairmen at one time or the other unfortunately were disgraced out of office due to corruption cases whereas it’s a Commission established by Government to rid the society of the menace of corruption by ensuring that treasury looters and every other form of corruption inimical to the progress of the society are brought to book and offenders are punished adequately. The banana peels in the commission unfortunately resulted to the watering down of the approach with which the commission now fights crime, leading to loss of faith and confidence on the commission by Nigerians regrettably. The exit of Ibrahim Magu following the petition against him coupled with the Special Presidential Committee that investigated him also, indeed revealed that the Commission needed surgical operation if indeed the shout on fighting corruption should be taken very seriously.
The establishment of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in 2003 accordingly was in response to the demand from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in money laundering which fingered Nigeria as one of 23 countries, non-cooperative in the International Community’s efforts to fight money laundering and since the body was established, it had been headed by Police officers, not below the rank of Deputy Commissioner of Police. With the appointment of Bawa Abdulrasheed, who, is without police background, the commission may have entered into a new era, where ranka-dede may not necessarily be the order of the day. Although unconfirmed report has it that, the new EFCC Boss was nominated by the sitting Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami who incidentally comes from the same locality, the question whether or not he will be pocketed by the man who appointed him have been expressed by most Nigerians.
This appointment of a 40-year-old Nigerian and a non-police officer to take charge of a body like EFCC is a clear departure from the old order. It clearly shows that the clamour for youth inclusion in the scheme of things in Nigeria is gradually getting attention of government. For Bawa, it is a new dawn in his career, even as Nigerians are also watching. We demand that the fight against corruption should be holistic and not selective like the case in the past where justice was not served to real offenders. We also demand that the upper Legislative chamber, whose responsibility it is to confirm the new EFCC Boss, should do a thorough job, to save the nation, the rigour it went through during the era of Magu, whose appointment was not confirmed even when Mr. President presented his case more than once, to no avail.