The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has dismissed corruption allegations against its chairman-designate, Abdulrasheed Bawa, by an online publication.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on Tuesday asked the Senate to confirm Bawa as the anti-graft agency’s substantive Chairman.
But an online publication had run a story alleging that the 40-year-old was arrested and consequently detained by the EFCC over illegal sale of 244 forfeited trucks to proxies in Port Harcourt under Ibrahim Magu, the agency’s immediate past chairman.
In a statement, however, the EFCC described the allegations as “illogical”, explaining that the sale of the forfeited oil trucks at its Port Harcourt Zonal Office was not carried out by Bawa.
The agency added that the oil trucks was among issues that led to the sack of its officers following findings of the Justice Ayo Salami-led panel.
It called on the public to disregard such allegations, stating that they were “sponsored by mischief makers to impugn the integrity of the EFCC Chairman-designate.”
The statement read: “The attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has been drawn to a report by an online publication, Peoples Gazette, alleging that Mr. Adulrasheed Bawa, the Chairman-designate of the Commission, was arrested and detained by the Agency under former Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, over illegal sale of 244 forfeited trucks to proxies in Port Harcourt.
“The publication claims that the illegal sale was uncovered by the suspended Secretary to the Commission, Ola Olukoyede, who alerted the former chairman, Ibrahim Magu, leading to Bawa’s detention and subsequent redeployment to the EFCC Academy, Abuja.
“The Commission wishes to state categorically that, Mr Bawa was never arrested or detained over 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-fledge Directorate of Assets Forfeiture and Recovery Management, which remit such matters reside.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the disposal of finally forfeited trucks in the Port Harcourt Zonal Office through public auction, was conducted after the exit of Bawa as Zonal Head. It is therefore illogical for him to have been indicted over an auction that was not superintended by him.
“The auction of trucks at the Port Harcourt Office was among the issues examined by the Justice Ayo Salami Panel, leading to the suspension of some officers of the Commission.”