Tinubu, EFCC chairman meet in Presidential Villa

PRESIDENT Bola Tinubu held a closed door meeting with the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Wednesday, May 31.

The agenda of the meeting could not be determined at the time of filing this report, but there are indications that it might not be unconnected with the altercation between the Department of State Services (DSS) and the EFCC on Tuesday, May 30.

The ICIR reported that the DSS and the EFCC clashed over a Lagos office building on Tuesday, May 30. The clash followed the blockade on the anti-graft commission’s office by operatives of the security agency.

Operatives of the DSS reportedly prevented staff of the EFCC from gaining access to their offices during the incident.

It was gathered that the EFCC and the DSS shared office spaces in the building at No. 15A Awolowo Road, Ikoyi.

Reacting to reports on the development on its official Twitter page, the DSS, in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Peter Afunanya, said it did not stop EFCC staff from having access to their offices.

Rather, the DSS said the building in question belonged to it.

The DSS added that there is no rivalry between it and the EFCC over and about anything.

However, in its reaction, the EFCC described the siege on its Lagos office by the DSS as shocking.

The EFCC claimed that the action of the DSS undermined the nation’s fight against economic and financial crimes.

The EFCC’s reaction was contained in a statement signed by the Commission’s Spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren.

The Commission said it had cohabited with the DSS in the same facility for 20 years without any fracas.

The EFCC added that the siege is inconsistent with the synergy expected of agencies working for the same government and nation.

Tinubu later directed the DSS to immediately vacate the office.

The directive was disclosed in a statement released by Tinubu’s media aide, Tunde Rahman, later on Tuesday, May 30.

The President said any issues between the two government agencies should be resolved amicably.

CSOs are demanding EFCC chairman’s sack 

Tinubu’s meeting with Bawa is coming amid calls for the sack of the EFCC chairman by some civil society organisations.

The CSOs, who have been staging protests, allege that the EFCC under Bawa is corrupt and inefficient.

The CSOs, led by the Chairman of the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL), Debo Adeniran, and representing over 150 organisations, noted that the EFCC has become a tool for settling political scores.

Demanding Bawa’s exit from the office, they argued that it is accepted practice worldwide for officials suspected of serious misbehaviour to resign during investigations.




     

     

    The group called for a thorough investigation into the activities of the EFCC under Bawa over the last three years, including analysis of records of arrests, investigations, outcomes and final closure of each incident and individual suspects and how the matters were eventually dispensed with.

    Bawa has also been having a running battle with the immediate past governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle, over corruption allegations.

    While Bawa accused Matawalle of involvement in ‘’monumental corruption’, the governor accused the EFCC chairman of demanding a $2 million bribe from him.

    The governor made the accusation in an interview with BBC Hausa Service.

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