Concerned Northern Forum (CNF) has decried calls for the sack of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Chairman, AbdulRasheed Bawa, describing it as satanic, unpatriotic and efforts to entrench corruption in the country.
Addressing the media on Thursday, Chairman of CNF, Alhaji Aliyu Sani, said those calling for Bawa’s sack were the purveyors of corruption and vendors of corrupt practices who got their fingers burnt by the efficient and effective activities of EFCC that have nailed several people involved in fraud and corrupt activities.
“They want him out by all means, so they can continue with business as usual and appear untouchable in the eyes of the law.
“Concerned Northern Forum (CNF), a coalition of 79 civil society and community-based organisations is alarmed by calls for the sacking of the Chairman of EFCC, Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa. While, we champion and support causes aimed at sanitizing the Nigerian political and social space especially in the area of fighting corruption, we take exceptions when corrupt individuals and organisations attempting to run from the arms of the law engage commercial activists to make nefarious allegations against those saddled with fighting corruption.
“This is classical example of corruption fighting back and it’s totally unacceptable in any civilized society. We have overtime observed that persons and organisations standing trial for corrupt practices try to play the ostrich. Most of the acclaimed civil society organisations are paid urchins of indicted persons who employ strategy of smear campaign in attempt to divert attention from their crimes, distract investigations and delay administration of justice. It’s unfortunate that some unpatriotic groups have jumped on this demonic opportunity with gusto, lashing out on the EFCC boss without conscience.
“From January to December 2022 alone, Mr. Bawa led EFCC recorded 3, 785 convictions, with 41 discharged, with 650 total custodial sentences secured across all zonal commands and headquarters and forfeited electronics that included 2,048 phones, 425 laptops, 259 automobiles and 10 TVs. Monetary recoveries were, N260.4 billion, £876,138 British pound sterling, 650 Canadian Dollars, 16,500 Pakistani Rupees, $509.5 million US dollars, €2.196 million Euros, 5,880 South African Rand, 8,000 Indian Rupees and ¥19,851 Chinese Yuan.
“They have come with one allegation after the other in the past few months alone. It is either the EFCC boss is accused of diverting seized items or accused of abuse of office and other sundry allegations. This recent allegation of disrespect to the rule of law by the acclaimed 130 civil society organisations is not different, as it is also aimed at diverting the attention of the anti-graft agency and its leadership from bringing corrupt individuals and organisations to justice.
“Mr Bawa has proven to be fearless and passionate in fighting corruption since his appointment. The EFCC has regained the confidence of many Nigerians as the leadership of the Commission has proven not to be a respecter of any sacred cow. Serving governors and their family members as well as aides involved in the web of corruption have been clamped down. We call on Nigerians to rally round the EFCC and other anti-graft agencies in their effort to rid corruption out of our country. With our support and cooperation, Nigeria will soon be free of corruption under the leadership of Mr. Bawa as the EFCC boss,” the forum said.