THE Nigerian Senate has confirmed the appointment of 40-year-old Abdulrasheed Bawa as the substantial chairman of the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Ahmad Lawan, Senate president, made the confirmation on Wednesday after Bawa’s screening.
With his confirmation, Bawa becomes the first chair of the commission who did not serve as an officer of the Nigeria Police Force.
Buhari had, in a letter to the Senate, nominated Bawa as the substantial chairman of the EFCC following the suspension of Ibrahim Magu, former acting chair of the commission.
A statement on Bawa’s nomination read that the 40-year-old was “a trained EFCC investigator with vast experience in the investigation and prosecution of advance fee fraud cases, official corruption, bank fraud, money laundering, and other economic crimes.”
According to the president, Bawa had undergone several specialised trainings in different parts of the world and was one of the pioneer EFCC Cadet Officers in 2005.
However, there was an allegation of corruption levelled on Bawa during his stint as the head of the Port Harcourt zonal office of the EFCC.
A report published in 2020 said that Bawa was under probe for alleged theft of confiscated proceeds of ill-gotten loot in Port-Harcourt.
After his nomination as the head of the commission in 2021, the EFCC in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, described the report as ‘illogical.’
“The Commission wishes to state categorically that, Mr Bawa was never arrested or detained over the sale of any assets. As Zonal Head of the Port Harcourt Office of the Commission in 2019, Bawa’s responsibilities did not include the sale of assets as the Commission has a full-fledged Directorate of Assets Forfeiture and Recovery Management, which remit such matters reside,” the statement read in part.
Following his confirmation, Bawa will take over from Mohammed Umar, who has been acting in the commission chairman’s capacity as directed by Buhari.