OVER a month after his arrest by the Department of State Services (DSS), suspended chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Abdulrasheed Bawa has been denied access to lawyers and family members, The ICIR has learnt.
Bawa, it was also reliably gathered, has also not made any statement to the Service since his arrest.
This is coming as former CBN governor Godwin Emiefele, who was arrested about the same time as Bawa by the secret service, was last Friday, July 14, charged to court for illegal possession of arms.
Bawa and Emiefele are believed to have gotten into trouble with the newly elected Bola Tinubu government for the role they played in the naira change policy believed to be targeted at the All Progressive Congress (APC) candidate, who eventually emerged winner in the 2023 presidential election.
The DSS invited and detained Bawa on Thursday, June 14, over undisclosed allegations.
The invitation followed Bawa’s indefinite suspension by President Bola Tinubu.
A statement released on Thursday, June 14, by the spokesperson of the DSS, Peter Afunanya, stated that Bawa had acknowledged the invitation and arrived at the facility of the Service.
According to Afunanya, “Bawa arrived a few hours ago. The invitation relates to some investigative activities concerning him.”
A source close to the suspended anti-graft agency boss told our reporter that Bawa had not been told the specific offence he committed, but there have been speculations that the major reason why he was removed and detained is due to the role he played in the attempt to scuttle the emergence of Tinubu as the candidate of the APC and eventual President of Nigeria.
The former EFCC boss is believed to have written a memo to former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, which led to redesigning the naira, which Tinubu alleged was targeted at scuttling his presidential bid.
The policy immediately brought a lot of hardship to the citizens.
Our source claimed that the DSS has not asked Bawa to make any statement so far. However, an operative of the secret service said Bawa is the one refusing to make a statement.
Tinubu’s response to the alleged gang-up against him
Tinubu sensing the plots against him months preceding the elections, made the now famous ’emi lokan’ statement which translates to ‘it’s my turn’ in Yoruba.
Tinubu, at an event on Thursday, June 2, 2022, in Abeokuta, a few days before the APC presidential primary, made a speech which is more like a tirade to a gathering of party supporters in which he gave a hint of a struggle with some forces who don’t want him to emerge.
The speech echoed nationwide and beyond and sent a message to those who did not want him.
It would seem that Tinubu went to Abeokuta to pour out his mind as he publicly accused those he said he helped attain power, who are now ganged up against his ambition of reaching the presidency of Nigeria.
According to Tinubu, Yoruba will not be relegated during Buhari’s presidency, and after his tenure, it would be the turn of the South-West.
And when it comes to the South-West, it must be his, Tinubu’s turn.
Emefiele’s similar ordeal
Tinubu also suspended Emiefele as the CBN governor with immediate effect in similar circumstances.
A press release on Friday, June 9, by the director of information, office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Willie Bassey, announced the suspension.
Emefiele was directed to immediately hand over the affairs of his office to the Deputy Governor (Operations Directorate), who will act as the CBN governor pending the conclusion of the investigation into Emefiele’s office and reform of the financial sector.
The DSS later confirmed Emefiele’s arrest in a tweet posted on its official Twitter handle on Saturday, June 10.
The secret police did not state or explain why Emeiele was arrested.
However, many believe that apart from many controversies that graced his tenure, the main reason for his removal and arrest, like Bawa, might not be unconnected with the allegations of his role in the recent naira redesign and cashless policy.
Bawa, on his part, has remained in the custody of the DSS since June 14 and is yet to be prosecuted for any offence.