Arewa Group Calls for Arrest of Bawa’s Closest Allies
By: Femi Mustapha
The Arewa Civil Society Organization has called for the arrest of co-perpetrators involved in the alleged fraud and abuse of power committed by the suspended Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa. According to the organization, it believes that Bawa could not have acted alone in these crimes.
The media was informed about this through a statement signed by the Chairman of ASCO, Adamu Aminu Musa, which was made available in Kaduna on June 15, 2023.
ASCO has identified some individuals as Bawa’s co-perpetrators, including Sheu Ala Rotimi Oyedepo, Hadiza Ibrahim Gamawa, and his godfather, Malami Abubakar SAN. The organization suggests that these individuals should be held in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) to answer questions regarding their involvement in the crimes committed.
The group expressed satisfaction with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s swift action in suspending the widely believed compromised Bawa. This decision is seen as a necessary measure to prevent further corruption and misuse of power, as Bawa has been engaging in various corrupt practices.
The statement also highlighted Bawa’s failure to comply with Section 7(2) of the EFCC Establishment Act 2004, which mandates the EFCC to combat economic and financial crimes by preventing, investigating, prosecuting, and penalizing such offenses.
“We feel vindicated in our earlier call for Bawa’s removal, and we commend the President for his courageous and exemplary decision to listen to our concerns. The fact that the DSS has invited the suspended Chairman for questioning further validates our grievances,” the statement said.
The grievances include allegations of abuse of office, theft and sale of confiscated petrol-bearing trucks to proxies at unreasonable prices, and violations of the code of conduct for public officers by owning properties beyond legitimate income.
According to ASCO, during Bawa’s tenure, the EFCC disregarded court orders and manipulated the judicial process to protect friends, allies, and family members involved in corruption cases. Plea bargains were used to generate illicit funds, with support from his godfather and benefactor, the former Attorney General & Minister for Justice, Mallami Abubakar SAN.
“Abdulrasheed Bawa is driven by egocentrism, prioritizing the interests of his family, friends, and loved ones over the well-being of Nigerian citizens. He was never sincere in his fight against corruption, selectively targeting individuals while allowing influential figures to escape punishment,” ASCO stated.
The organization referred to a statement from the United States government that acknowledged the EFCC’s success in fighting low-level corruption cases but criticized its lack of action against high-profile offenders.
Bawa’s actions were seen as a result of orders from his godfather, Mallami Abubakar SAN. In 2021, Bawa’s actions even targeted President Tinubu, the then National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“If it weren’t for divine intervention that brought President Tinubu to power, Bawa would have succeeded in tarnishing Tinubu’s reputation. He relentlessly tried to order the arrest of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, through the Commission’s Zonal head in Lagos, Mr. Ghali Ahmed, on three separate occasions,” added Adamu Aminu Musa.
The statement concluded by urging the DSS to invite Bawa’s co-perpetrators and those who shielded him for questioning, as it is believed that Bawa could not have carried out these crimes alone.