I’ll resign if asked to act against my conscience, rule of law – Bawa


The chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, has vowed to resign his appointment should he be asked to act against his conscience or in violation of rule of law.

An EFCC’s statement shared via the commission’s twitter handle on Saturday stated that Mr Bawa spoke on Friday, while featuring on a Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) special interview programme, ‘One-on-One’.

A PREMIUM TIMES report had highlighted obedience to rule of law and independent working relationship with the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, and others, as two of the 10 things Nigerians’ expected of Mr Bawa-led EFCC following his appointment late February.

Addressing these concerns in his NTA interview, Mr Bawa said, “rule of law and fear of God shall be his guiding principles”.

“I will continue to do what is right,” he said, adding, “The commission under my watch will continue to abide by the rule of law. If anybody asks me to do anything contrary to my conscience or against the rule of law, I will resign my appointment.”

‘No going back on bankers’ assets declaration’

Mr Bawa also said there was no going back the directive that all bankers should start declaring their assets as from June 1, 2021.

He said bankers were not expected to declare their assets to EFCC, but to the “statutory bodies”, details of which he did not give.

He added that the “laws permit the commission to investigate assets of public officers including bankers”.

He said, “There is a law called Bank Employee Declaration of Assets, Act 1986. We are not saying they should declare their assets to us. What we are saying is that they should declare it to the statutory bodies. We are going to be calling for it.

“As a commission, we need to know what you have as a banker. Come June 1, 2021, we are going to be asking for it.”

‘Stop worshiping corrupt people’

Mr Bawa identified corruption as an encumbrance hampering the growth of the country and stressed the need for all Nigerians to be involved in the fight against the menace.

He said fighting corruption was an onerous task that should not be left in the hands of EFCC alone.

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He urged Nigerians to stop glorifying corruption and corrupt people in the society, even as he vowed to fight graft with all his powers as allowed by law.

He said, “we are in the habit of worshipping people that have money in the society, but never bother to ask questions about their source of income. In winning the fight against corruption, we are engaging all stakeholders including religious leaders, community leaders and others.

“We are going to embark on massive public enlightenment to sensitise people on the need to shun corruption in all its forms.”

Corruption cases

Responding to another question on the ongoing corruption cases in various courts across the country, he said the commission was making ‘steady’ progress by securing conviction of offenders and getting them to restitute their victims of whatever they had illegally acquired.

“Our lawyers are doing well and the judiciary too is marvellous,” he added.

On alleged “media trials” by the EFCC, Mr Bawa said that “there is nothing like media trial.”

He added, “it’s part of our responsibilities to let the public know about our activities and what we are doing to sanitise the country.

“This is enshrined in Section 6 of the EFCC Establishment Act, 2004.”

He said any case filed in court “is a public document that anybody can apply to court to access”.

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