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My hands are clean – EFCC Chairman, Bawa Abdulrasheed

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Bawa

Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa, the new Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has denied selling recovered assets while serving as the Port Harcourt Zonal Officer of the commission.

Bawa Abdulrasheed gave the clarification while responding to questions during his screening by the Senate on Wednesday in Abuja.

He explained that the EFCC Secretary was the only person authorised to dispose off recovered assets.

According to him, the assets in question were sold by the EFCC Secretary and three directors, who travelled from the headquarters to Port Harcourt to carry out the exercise.

He also dismissed claims that he was arrested by the former acting EFCC Chairman, Mr Ibrahim Magu for undisclosed reasons, saying he had a good working relationship with him.

Bawa said that he was eminently qualified to be appointed as EFCC Chairman based on his years of service and the extant laws.

He promised to work towards the digitalisation of the operations of the commission.

Bawa said digitalisation would enable Nigerians to have access to information on EFCC operations.

He said the commission recorded 216 convictions on cases prosecuted in court during his stay as Port Harcourt Zonal Officer.

Bawa said the EFCC secured convictions for over 90 per cent of all cases prosecuted in court.

Bawa Abdulrasheed said there was a need to equip the EFCC Academy in line with modern-day realities of fighting financial crimes.

Meanwhile, the Federal High Court Abuja, on Wednesday, adjourned until March 16, a suit seeking the removal of the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu from office.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed fixed the date following the agreement of counsel in the matter.

A Mr Maxwell Okpara, approached the court praying for an order that Adamu should resign from office, having spent the mandatory 35 years in service.

When the matter was called, counsel to Okpara, Mr U.C. Ejike told the court that the matter was slated for hearing of the motion to abridge time.

Ejike, however, informed the court that the second defendant, (the inspector-general) filed a counter-affidavit which was served on his client on Feb. 23.

The lawyer also told the court that the other defendants in the matter, the president and the attorney-general had not responded to the motion.

He informed the court that he needed time to respond to the counter affidavit just as he was expecting replies from the defendants to his motion to abridge time.

Responding, counsel to the inspector-general, Mr Alex Ejesieme, SAN, did not oppose the application for an adjournment but he informed the court that he was served with the motion late on Feb. 22.

He, however, said that he was able to file a response and serve on the applicant on Feb. 23.

The judge adjourned the matter until March 16 for a hearing of the substantive suit.

The plaintiff, in the suit, in addition to asking the inspector-general to resign, is also praying the court to restrain him from exercising any form of command over the Nigeria Police.

He also contended that Adamu’s tenure elapsed on Feb. 1 by virtue of the Nigeria Police Act.

He maintained that Adamu completed his tenure as inspector-general on Feb. 1 after completing 35 years in service as required by the Nigeria Police Act.

In the originating summon in suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/106/2021, the plaintiff, Maxwell Okpara, wants the court to determine, whether by provisions of Section 215, 216, and Section 7 of the Nigeria Police Act 2020, Adamu can continue to function as inspector-general after Feb 2.

The plaintiff also asked the court to determine, whether the failure of the president or the Nigeria Police (first and second defendants) to appoint another inspector-general did not constitute an abdication of their duty.

In a ten paragraph affidavit, deposed to by the counsel, Maxwell Okpara,(plaintiff), he stated that though, Adamu was no longer a serving Police officer but had continued to function in that capacity.

The plaintiff urged the court to determine if the continued stay in office by Adamu was not a breach of the provisions of the constitution and the Nigeria Police Act.

The plaintiff, therefore, prayed the court to declare illegal, null and void all actions taken by Adamu from midnight of February 1

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