The battle against corruption in Nigeria appears unsurmountable under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari who had pledged to eradicate the scrooge of corruption from the giant of West Africa [Nigeria]. But with a little over one year remaining in the Buhari administration, all hopes appear lost. Instead, the situation appears worsening.
The foremost anti-graft agency – the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] – charged with combating the prevalence of corruption in the country had unceremonious removed the former head of the organization, Ibrahim Magu – to give way for a sanitized EFCC that would usher a new EFCC to face the scrooge squarely. Ibrahim Magu who is termed the most corrupt person to head the EFCC was removed to revamped the fight against corruption. But the arrival of the new EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa remains doubtful to its real impact towards reversing the ugly scrooge – many months after his arrival.
Drawing back from history, it is recalled when the antigraft efforts were effective.
During the Ibrahim Babangida administration, Tam David-West, a one-time Minister of Petroleum was jailed for accepting a cup of tea and a wrist watch from would-be consultants to the federal government. According to the details, Tam David-West was tried by the Babangida regime for drinking tea with the executives of a firm, which the regime claimed compromised the ex-minister of petroleum in the process. The regime made reference to a $57million contract between Nigeria and Stinness oil company, in New Jersey, United States of America. The deal, which was made during the era of ex-President Shehu Shagari but negotiated during the Buhari military era, landed David-West in a “huge mess”. The Babangida regime accused Tam David-West of “trading off the country’s interest” for a cup of tea and wristwatch, which was linked to the proceeds of the $157 million offshore processing contract with Stinnes Oil Company. The contract, which involved exporting crude oil from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for refining and sales outside the country provided revenue for both Nigeria and the company. However, an outstanding $157 million payment came up after the Shagari government fell, which made Buhari mandate David-West to negotiate a deal.
But today’s EFCC remains a reach cry from the efforts of the past administration. Today’s EFCC has become an organization crafted against the have-nots. Low level financial crimes and criminals who do not have the financial pull as elected officials in the likes of national lawmakers and State Governors and their aides.
According to competent sources knowledgeable of the goings on within the presidency who spoke candidly to 247ureports.com revealing the near disappointment by the President of the federal republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari over the performance of the new EFCC Chairman. It was understood the President was hesitant in appointing a non-police officer to the post of EFCC Chairman. Abdulrasheed Bawa is the first non-police officer appointed to the position.
According to our source, President Buhari who was convinced against his original instinct of appointing a police officer to replace the sacked Ibrahim Magu, had expected for a sweeping action against high level financial offenders similar to the type that occurred during the Nuhu Ridabu era. The President was looking to reposition his administration’s standing in the eyes of the international community – especially the money lenders such as China – and international investors such as Germany and others. But with almost ten  months into Bawa’s leadership at the EFCC, nothing spectacular has transpired to impress the President and/or the international community.
Rather, what has become the sing song of the EFCC is the mishandling of the recovered loot. As the EFCC chairman had acknowledged in a hearing at the National Assembly, the EFCC mismanagement the recovered loot. Particularly, the recovered loot from the former minister of Petroleum, Diezani Madueke – of which Abdulrasheed Bawa was then incharge of the case of the investigation before becoming the EFCC Chairman. The mismanagement of the recovered was directly under the purview of Bawa.
See video below:
Unlike in the case of Tam David-West, Abdulrasheed Bawa was not penalized.
In view of the President’s doubts, the EFCC Chairman embarked on a media tirade to showcase efforts off the EFCC. Bawa boasted of having made close to 1600 arrests in 2021 alone. He statement this while asking the Nigeria populace for applause and commendation. But he failed to mention that a majority of the arrests were of low level financial crimes – comprising of unemployed youths and recent university graduates engaged in email scams. None of the arrests involved of former governors or federal ministers or national lawmakers who had exploited their positions to extort money from the national treasury.
It remains uncertain if the media campaign by the EFCC Chairman swayed the mind of the President but what it certain is that the President has begun entertaining doubts over the new chairman. His performance fallen below expectations. “He is more of an extension/continuation of Magu”.
The whereabouts of the many recovered loots remains unknown.
Sometime last year
The EFCC chairman was arrested by a lorry load of policemen
He was arrested like a drug dealer
We were told he had properties in Dubai
The presidency said he had laundered money through a pastor
Justice Salami was dusted out of retirement by Malami
Malami and Salami, no ordinary rhyme
A public hearing was instituted.
The public hearing started sitting in a coven
When the public became restive
Garba Shehu came on TV to serve them pieces of ntanta
He said the findings were earth shaking
He described Magu and a certain pastor as rogues.
Many of us wondered why the game was being played in the mud
The panel’s time elapsed
The panel lived on like an anwuanwu
After 6 months of drama, the panel submitted its report
*It’s more than 15 months since Justice Salami came to Abuja on tax payers money;*
*Since Garba Shehu promised earth shaking findings:*
_*Magu is still in the police*_
_*No Dubai property has been confiscated*_
_*Salami has gone home*_
_*Malami is still Attorney General*_
_*The pastor is still in his church*_
_*The bemused public is still on siddon look*_
_*The gods are still laughing*_