The President Bola Tinubu-imposed indefinite suspension of Abdulrasheed Bawa, Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, has been praised by northern organizations, the Arewa Civil Society Organization, and the Arewa Youths Consultative Forum.
They said that the suspension was long overdue and demanded that he be detained and charged right away.
They asserted that the previous EFCC continued to set a poor example for Nigeria’s youth.
President Tinubu had on Wednesday announced the suspension of the EFCC chairman in a statement by the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
Bawa was suspended based on “weighty allegations of abuse of office” leveled against him.
He(Bawa)was subsequently replaced by Mr. Abdulkarim Chukkol, who was the Director of Operations of the Commission as the Acting Chairman
Reacting, the Arewa Civil Society Organization said the suspension of the former EFCC chairman, was timely in view of the weighty allegation leveled against him, noting that Bawa over the years, had abused his office.
According to the Chairman of the group, Adamu Musa, in a statement in Kaduna on Thursday, with the suspension of Bawa, the organization has been vindicated for calling for his sack under the former President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd) but to no avail.
He said, “The suspension of Abdulrasheed Bawa is a stitch in time that will save a few more than nine because Bawa has constantly and continuously abused and misused his powers and office, engaging in various corrupt practices.
“We have been vindicated for our earlier stance on calling for the removal of Bawa, now the President has listened, this is very courageous and exemplary, and we must commend him for taking this bold and righteous decision.
“Moreso, most of our grievances that made us take that stance, are the reasons the DSS invited the suspended Chairman for questioning.
“They include various charges of abuse of office, accused of stealing and selling dozens of petrol-bearing trucks confiscated from suspected looters, auctioning them off to his proxies at ridiculous prices while he was in charge of the Port Harcourt office of the EFCC, and alleged violation of the code of conduct for public officers by owning properties beyond his legitimate income.
“The Department of State Security must continue to hold Bawa and his co-perpetrators to get all the answers needed. The EFCC has lost its credibility & bearing and has dented the fight against corruption, making Nigerians no longer believe in it.”
On their part, the leadership of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum said the suspension of the former EFCC chairman was a welcome and long overdue development.
While hailing President Tinubu over the suspension, the National President of the organization, Alhaji Yerima Shettima in a statement in Kaduna on Thursday, said the swift move by President Tinubu, was a re-assurance that his administration was committed to fighting corruption.
However, besides the suspension of Bawa, the organisation called for a total overhaul of the anti-graft agency.
He said, “On behalf of the youths of Northern Nigeria, the Arewa Youths Consultative Forum wishes to express its deep appreciation for the swift action taken by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu of suspending the widely believed compromised Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa indefinitely, and ordering a thorough investigation of the activities of the agency under his watch.
“The move by Mr. President is a reassurance of his government’s commitment to addressing the sceptre of endemic, widespread, corruption and political avarice that characterised the eight-year tenure of the previous administration attributable to a lack of application of relevant laws against corrupt practices among officials of the regime and the apparent compromise of the EFCC under Abdulrasheed Bawa.
“While welcoming the federal government action against Bawa, we are also of the view that it needs to extend the measure to include a total overhaul of the EFCC to flush out remnants of Abdulrasheed Bawa’s accomplices entrenched in top positions of the agency.”