Prof. Itse Sagay, the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption has expressed fear that the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), will interfere in the duties of Abdulrasheed Bawa.
Mr Bawa was on Wednesday confirmed by the Senate as the new Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)
Speaking to PUNCH, Sagay who was a staunch supporter of former acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, said Malami is a meddling politician whose interference could derail the anti-corruption war of the Federal Government.
“This issue is a very big question because I noticed that they both come from the same state of Kebbi and they may even be related. For me, that is not a very healthy thing because the chairman of the EFCC and the EFCC are supposed to be independent.
“They are not politicians, they are trained, security officers. The attorney-general is a politician who has all the weaknesses and loads of a politician. He has people he is obliged to. He has people who are close to him. Some of them may be criminals who might have committed crimes. In fact, some of them may deliberately do things because they think they know the attorney-general.
“So, in such a situation, if Bawa is related to the attorney-general, then there will be a problem because he will not be able to do his job freely because the attorney-general will certainly interfere. He has already indicated his tendency to interfere in both the EFCC and the ICPC with the regulations he purported to make months ago. So, I am not comfortable at all that the possibility that they might be related,” Prof Sagay said.
Sagay maintained that Malami had never been inclined to support the independence of anti-graft agencies, arguing that he had made his position known severally but unfortunately, Malami’s powers continue to increase.
“Malami has never been inclined to allow the anti-corruption agencies to operate freely. He is always sitting on their neck one way or the other. I have complained about that several times and nothing has happened. In fact, he has become more powerful. So, I will not be comfortable if they are related. I don’t want any outside influence on the EFCC or the ICPC.”
Sagay admitted not knowing Bawa personally but said his curriculum vitae was impressive and all hands must be on deck to ensure he succeeds as EFCC chairman.