While Abdulrasheed Bawa’s performance before the Senate might have rekindled some people’s hope in the EFCC, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has cautioned him against possible pitfalls.
On Tuesday, Nigeria’s Senate confirmed Mr Bawa, a trained EFCC investigator, as the substantive chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) after over two hours of rigorous screening exercise.
The 40-year-old Mr Bawa is not only the youngest but also the first non-police officer to head the anti-graft agency since its establishment.
Against the backdrop of his mutual relationship with top government officials, the PDP, in a statement on Sunday night, warned the new EFCC boss to ‘avoid pitfalls’ and ‘partisan pressures’ which allegedly altered his immediate predecessor’s time in office.
“The party urges Bawa to avoid the pitfalls of his immediate predecessor in office, by resisting all partisan pressures to use the agency as a tool for political persecution, harassment of dissenting voices, settling of personal scores as well as for personal enrichment, as witnessed under the last chairman.
“The party notes that such tendencies eroded professionalism in the EFCC, compromised its activities and diminished the public confidence with regard to fairness, impartiality and even-handedness in the handling of cases,” the party noted, encouraging him to “exhibit the ideals of the generation-Next Nigeria.”
The tenure of the immediate past chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, was arguably characterised by a controversial fight against corruption.
Mr Magu was controversially kicked out of office and he is currently facing corruption allegations.
However, the newly confirmed EFCC boss, in his address to the Senate, promised to discharge his duties without fear and favoritism.
Mr Bawa’s appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari was greeted with mixed reactions from different quarters due to the former’s relationship with the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, who has been alleged to have played a significant role in Mr Magu’s removal.
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