Chairman of One Love Foundation, and human rights activist, Dr Patrick Eholor has called for the resignation of Abdulrasheed Bawa as Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Eholor also demanded for public apology of Bawa to Nigerians over Governor Bello Matawalle’s allegations of demand for bribe.
Recall that on Wednesday last week, Matawalle of Zamfara State had alleged that Bawa, who had accused him of corruption, had earlier begged him for a whopping 2 million dollars, which he refused.
The outgoing Governor also alleged that the reason why he is being haunted by the EFCC boss is due to his refusal to play his corruption card.
But in an interview with Jungle-Journalist.Com on Sunday morning, Eholor argued that anyone accused of corruption has no locus standi to probe others of the same crime.
He also recalled that Mr. Bawa was in-charge of the Port-Harcourt zonal office in 2019 when 244 petrol-bearing trucks that were confiscated from suspected looters were abruptly auctioned off to his proxies at ridiculous prices.
Three of his junior colleagues who were alarmed by the sheer mismanagement of priced public assets and other suspicious acts of Mr. Bawa’s took immediate steps to curb his excesses by filing anonymous complaints to the headquarters in Abuja.
He was subsequently arrested and detained for several days in Port-Harcourt before Ibrahim Magu, ex head of the agency, ordered his transfer to the agency’s training school in Abuja pending conclusion of investigation.
“A man with such a shady report against his name just a few years ago cannot continue to head an anti-corrupt agency in any serious country”, Eholor stated.
“I have friends who are Fulanis, but it’s not about where one comes from. It’s about one being corrupt, and believing that you are bigger than the government. We have this EFCC chairman now. This man is a civil servant and he went to the Hajj and spent 15 thousand dollars a day in a hotel, over 300 thousand dollars on a vacation of 10 days. A civil servant. Where did he get the money? What is his salary? Did he not declare his assets before he became chairman of EFCC? This same man was accused some time ago in Port Harcourt of selling trucks that were seized. The trucks were worth over 30 million each but he sold them to his friends for 100 thousand naira each. There were over 200 trucks.
“We had the other case of former IG Tafa Balogun under Obasanjo. He took over 30 billion naira of the police funds and he died, and he left the money. He ran down the morale of the police and killed their confidence to fight corruption with that selfish act.
“Now, you have the stolen money that was found at Ikoyi. President Muhammadu Buhari told us that we must either kill corruption or it will kill us. That he will reveal those who stacked money in pounds and dollars. Up till now, Buhari has not revealed it.
“We also have the case of Ibrahim Magu – former EFCC boss who was suspended by Buhari after he was accused of corruption. Then there is Ahmed Idris – former Accountant-General of the Federation. He was accused of N170 billion fraud,
“So I don’t understand why people think they are institutions and that there is nothing you can do to them.
“But you also know that I was the one that took up the case of Abba Kyari, the notorious celebrity police officer who will sleep with a yahoo boys wife, seize their vehicles, kill at any given time, and act at his own will without recourse to law.
“Yet, the House of Representatives was promoting this illegality. EFCC will seize people’s property and without letting Nigerians know, sell it off. They will take yahoo boys cars, and won’t take the case to court.
“How can a thief be prosecuting a thief? That’s hypocrisy. This can happen only in Nigeria. We must expose them, we must stop them. This impunity cannot continue. Nobody is above the law. It don’t matter where they are from, whether North, South, East or West.
“Whoever is corrupt must be tried, and if those who are going to try the corrupt are also corrupt, then we are in serious trouble. And I think honestly, the Chairman of EFCC should apologise to Nigerians and resign immediately or I will take him to court personally.