After three years and four months in office, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Chairman Abdulrasheed Bawa got the boot yesterday.
He was suspended from office indefinitely by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who also ordered a probe into his activities in office.
Bawa was promptly arrested and detained last night by the Department of State Services (DSS), whose spokesman Dr Peter Afunanya said: “Bawa arrived a few hours ago. The invitation relates to some investigative activities concerning him.”
The presidential directive on Bawa came from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF) Senator George Akume through a circular by Director of Information Willie Bassey.
It said the President’s action followed allegations levelled against him.
He has been directed to hand affairs of the Commission over to the Director of Operations.
He said: “President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has approved the indefinite suspension from office of Mr. AbdulRasheed Bawa, as the Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to allow for proper investigation into his conduct while in office.
“This follows weighty allegations of abuse of office levelled against him.
“Mr Bawa has been directed to immediately handover the affairs of his office to the Director, Operations in the Commission, who will oversee the affairs of the Office of the Chairman of the Commission pending the conclusion of the investigation”.
Bawa’s predecessor Ibrahim Magu was controversially removed from office.
Bawa, 43, at the time of his appointment, was the youngest to lead the anti-graft agency.
He has been attending meetings at Aso Villa with President Tinubu and other officials of government since the president’s inauguration on May 29.
In the last two weeks, he has had an engagement with former Zamfara Governor Bello Matawalle, who he accused of mismanaging the state’s resources.
Matawalle fired back, describing the EFCC chair as corrupt and asking him to quit office and submit himself for investigation.
Previous chairmen of the agency are Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, Mrs Farida Waziri and Magu – all of them senior police officers.
Bawa is the first civilian to head the agency, where he worked for more than 20 years as an investigator before his appointment.
He led the team that investigated the alleged sleaze under the watch of former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke.
Bawa until his appointment, was a Deputy Chief Superintendent.
He was nominated as substantive Chairman on February 16, 2021, and was confirmed on February 24, 2021, by the National Assembly.
Bawa holds a degree in Economics from the Usmanu Danfodio University, Sokoto, where he also obtained a Master’s in International Affairs and Diplomacy. He is said to be studying Law currently.
Bawa recently appeared at the Ikeja High Court to testify for the EFCC in a petrol subsidy scam case.