The EFCC Chairman Is in Prison. Here’s Why.

November 9, 2022

The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, has been sentenced to serve time in the most ‘secure’ prison in Nigeria, Kuje Correctional Prison.

One can only wonder how Bawa is going to survive, as the prison could contain some very angry fraudsters he has arrested.

Bawa is going to serve time until he returns N40 million and a Range Rover to Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Rufus Adeniyi Ojuawo. Keep in mind that these items have not been returned to Ojuawo since the court demanded him to in 2018.

What happened with Ojuawo and Bawa?

To help you understand this, let’s break down the case into three main points:

  • The Crime: Ojuawo was accused of taking N40 million and a Range Rover. The items are valued at N29.25 million from Hima Aboubakar of Societe D’Equipment Internationalaux Nigeria Limited in 2016.
  • The Court Case: Ojuawo was arraigned in 2016 on a two-count charge for both items in a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) high court. The case was filed by the EFCC.
  • The Verdict: The judge rejected the EFCC case in 2018 and acquitted Ojuawo on the grounds that the commission was unable to show that he accepted the gifts. The EFCC was ordered to return the seized property, which Mr. Bawa clearly didn’t follow up on, hence his sentencing

However, he is not ready to claim the sentence peacefully, as he informed journalists at a press conference that he had appealed the case and would allow “the law” to take its natural course. His ‘buddies’ at the EFCC have backed him up too, as they officially confirmed that the organization would appeal in the chairman’s case. Talk about a friend in need.

It may be kind of shocking and sad to hear this news as the EFCC under Bawa’s tenure has recorded significant achievements so far. These range from the recovery of N6 trillion from fraudsters and 978 convictions in August 2021 to arresting 87 forex dealers in November 2022.  

But how righteous is Bawa?

Surprisingly, the EFCC chair has not always lived under a cloak of righteousness. He was involved in an alleged  ‘cashing out’ from over 244 oil tankers from between N20-N30 million. This happened while he was head of the zonal EFCC office at Port Harcourt in 2019. 

EFCC officials have also claimed that his actions deprived Nigeria of receiving at least N4.88 billion in loot recovery. That is money that could pay off some of Nigeria’s debts. To put the cherry on the cake, Bawa was called in to lead the Lagos Zonal Office a year later. This was despite his investigation being far from over. 

He then became the National Chairman in February 2021.

Why should you care about Bawa or the EFCC?

For starters, the actions of these two have serious impacts on your ‘soft life’ and your daily N2K.

A report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) was written on the impact of corruption on the Nigerian economy. It states that corruption from the government level can lead to a lack of funds. This could lead to poor infrastructure of hospitals, schools, roads, etc. 

It can also affect your business, as public funds that are meant to be used as capital for your business are now being used for jaiye jaiye by people who are meant to stop corruption. 

How can you fight corruption?

You don’t need to be powerless as a citizen in the fight against corruption. Here are some things you can do:

  • Report issues of corruption to the necessary authorities. You can start with your local police. 
  • Post it on social media. Your phone is not only for Instagram photos and Snapchat.
  • Don’t partake in corruption yourself. How can you fight corruption if you’re also corrupt?

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