Despite allegations, we did not investigate new EFCC boss before confirmation – Senate Chairman on anti-corruption

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The Senate has disclosed that it did not investigate the corruption allegations levied against the latest Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa before confirmation.

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Anti-corruption / financial crimes, Suleiman Kwari stated this when he appeared in an interview with Channels Television programme Politics Today on Wednesday.

After President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Mr Bawa as the new EFCC boss on February 16, allegations surfaced that he was arrested and detained by the agency under former chairman Ibrahim Magu over illegal sale of 244 forfeited trucks to proxies in Port Harcourt.

Despite these ‘wild’ allegations as Senator Kwari described, the Senate confirmed him as the new Chairman of the EFCC after over two hours of screening by the Senators with the President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan, moderating.

He said, “There was not much to investigate, what was suggested to be an offence on his part was not i anywhere within the circles of government.

“These were wild allegations that could not be proven and if anything at all, the young man was not queried, he was not arrested and I think he came vehemently and defended that within the floor of the senate.

“From the system, there is a process to Senate confirmation. Usually, if they were allegations, there has to be proofs of allegations, petitions signed and brought before the front of the committee.

“We saw nothing, these were only allegations that were only in front of the newspapers and the media. So we saw nothing that warranted our having to go to the police or any other law enforcement agency to be able to confirm whatever was said.

“These were just wild allegations, and he debunked them on the floor of the senate and his answer was satisfying to all of us.”

Although the EFCC had refuted the claim in a statement, Mr Bawa also rejected the allegation during his screening.

He said as head of the Port Harcourt zonal office; he did not have the power to sell any asset recovered under his watch. Such power, he said, was bestowed on the office of the secretary to the commission which was handled by the head office at the time.

“I never sold a single truck at the Port Harcourt office, the head office handled that at the time. When I took over Port Harcourt, they had 34 convictions but when I got there, we recorded 216 convictions.

“Anybody that is familiar with the processes of the EFCC knows that the chairman doesn’t have the power to sell an asset but the secretary of the agency.

“If I had a skeleton, he would not have nominated me for this position,” the nominee told the senators.

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