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Mixed reactions trail new EFCC chairman’s appointment

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Udemba-Asika

Nigerians of all walks of life have aired differing views on the appointment of Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa as the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The appointment was announced, Tuesday, by Mr Femi Adesina, special adviser to the president on media and publicity.

In Mr President’s letter to the senate, as conveyed by Adesina, he said he was acting in accordance with Paragraph 2(3) of Part1, CAP E1 of EFCC Act 2004 and went on to add, “Bawa, 40, is 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.”

“He has undergone several specialised trainings in different parts of the world, and was one of the pioneer EFCC cadet officers in 2005. Bawa holds a B.Sc degree in economics, and masters in international affairs and diplomacy.

Recall that, since the indefinite suspension of Ibrahim Magu, Mohammed Umar, a director of the anti-graft agency, has been leading the commission in acting capacity.

Ibrahim Magu was suspended from office following allegations of abuse of office and corruption levelled against him.

He denied all the allegations but a presidential panel led by former President of the Appeal Court, Justice Ayo Salami, probed him and recommended his dismissal from the EFCC.

The panel, which submitted its report to President Muhammadu Buhari last November, also asked the president to appoint a new EFCC chairman in an interim position for two years.

In a telephone conversation with Orient Daily, Mr Nonso Okeke, a public affairs analyst, based in Awka, noted that President Buhari should have made public the report of the Salami committee before the appointment.

“Where is Magu? What are the outcomes of investigation by Salami? What happened to billion naira allegedly embezzled by Magu? Nigerians are not fools,” Okeke noted.

Similarly, Nwokoma Lawrence wrote: “Another lopsided appointment; a failed nation called Nigeria. Buhari and cabals toying with Nigerians. Has the Magu investigation been concluded and what is the outcome? Corruption has gone so deep under APC Buhari-led government.”

Uche Orji, on his own part, noted that “the Buhari administration has managed to create an impression that it is pro-North, pro-Islam, and pro-Fulani and that anything to the contrary is not likely to attract the same empathy from him.”

On the other side of the coin, Iyiola Funmilayo believes that the appointment was in the right direction.

“This is a piece of good news from the presidency. I know President Buhari knows better ways to handle national matters. Let the new EFCC chairman have a free hand to operate without being biased. Let him go after politicians and elites sponsoring unrest in the country. Together, we shall overcome these current challenges. I wish the new chairman successful tenure by God’s grace. I pray God grant President Buhari good health and long life.

God bless Nigeria, ” she noted.

“Bawa in Hausa means “Servant”. We hope Bawa will serve his country to the best of his ability and be neutral during the discharge of the responsibilities saddled on him, ” Aliyu Shinkafi noted.

Happy that the position was given to a youth, Hassan Muhammad Garba noted:

“Great news for Nigerian youths. This is the most cheering (sic) news I heard from the presidency.”

In the same vein, Barr Chimobi Okoye, in a WhatsApp chat with Orient Daily, noted: “it’s a welcome development owing to his age, 40, but I still have my reservations on lopsided appointments by Mr. President.”

He went on to say: “jokes apart, he is experienced on the job, having been there since inception (17year now) and having recorded huge success even before becoming the deputy chief Detective superintendent (DCDS). For the mere fact that he is not a police officer, I hope he will do better.”

“However, there is some disturbing news about his past” about which it was alleged that Magu was investigating him.

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