Again, Coalition urges Buhari to commission enquiry into EFCC activities under Bawa

The Coalition of Anti-Corruption Organizations (COACOs) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to commission an enquiry into the activities of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The group said the enquires should include the commission’s  present engagements and happenings throughout the tenure of its Chairman, Mr Rasheed Bawa.
The Co-convener of the group, Mr Olufemi Lawson made this known at a news briefing  tagged: ‘Sack  Bawa Now’ in Lagos on Thursday.
Lawson explained that Bawa should not  continue to remain in office with direct corruption allegations against him, adding that he must step aside to be investigated.
He also appealed to the President to also order an immediate overhaul of the commission and, where necessary, lobby the National Assembly to amend the EFCC Act.
The co-convener said the amendment of the act was to make the structure less prone to highhandedness and make the chairmen answerable to the laws of the land.
He said there had been several allegations to the effect that about 80 per cent of cases under EFCC investigation were not taken to court while the  commission’s offices now literally served as court rooms.
“There are damning allegations that some of the commission’s officials simply negotiate with suspects, get assets and cash retrieved and do plea bargains.
“This opens limitless opportunities for corrupt bargaining and self-enrichment by the operatives of EFCC under Bawa’s watch.
“This needs to be thoroughly investigated by a technical Commission of Inquiry to dig into the modus operandi of  EFCC investigations in the last three years.
“This is by thorough analysis of  records of arrests, investigations, outcomes and final closure of each incident and individual suspects and how the matters were eventually dispensed with,” he said.
Lawson, therefore, urged the president to take decisive steps since there were already direct allegations against him.
According to him, this is the standard practice all over the world, even his predecessor, Ibrahim Magu, was  told to step aside.
Lawson noted that the recent direct allegations of corrupt practices in the EFCC, mismanagement of seized assets leveled directly against Bawa by a sitting governor was a futher confirmation about the ignoble conduct of the EFCC under Bawa.
According to him, Gov. Matawalle of Zamfara was unequivocal in his direct allegations against Bawa, demanding a probe into his leadership and asking him to step aside immediately.
He said for a sitting governor to make such far-reaching allegations publicly and saying he and others have evidence to back those allegations was not something to be overlooked by Nigerians and the Presidency.
Lawson said anyone given the responsibility of fighting corruption should not  be consistently floating in the waters of corruption allegations every now and then.
He said the coalition was consistently monitoring all government processes and engagements as represented by the conduct of government institutions and those put in charge of running them.
The co-convener said it had consistently advocated that whoever would lead the EFCC must not only be trustworthy but also like Caesar’s wife, be without reproach upon which they had been demanding the removal of Bawa.
He said the thought of even retaining or reappointing him would be disrespectful to the sensibilities of  enlightened and patriotic Nigerians.


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