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Shoulder To Shoulder With President Buhari: Will The New EFCC Boss, Bawa, Be Able To Step On Toes? ~Omonaijablog



By Gbenga Shaba


Since my adulthood began and i can easily differentiate between politics and politicking, the most frightening word I've heard even till this moment is 'cabal'.

See some of the definition of a cabal; "A usually secret exclusive organization of individuals gathered for a political purpose. A secret plot. An identifiable group within the tradition of discordianism."

Prior to 2015 general elections, I adopted the tag of a 'Buharist' I used all my available resources and energy to campaign for his success and thank God, I wasn't disappointed where the results came in. He was declared winner.

It was during President Muhammad Buhari that the word cabal started gaining tractions. Some members of his cabinet were tagged as cabals. Then we started getting used to cabals here and there in almost every ministries and  parastatals of government of Nigeria.

Cabals will bring in and send out. The will recommend and fire. They would raise your voice and silence it at will. So we heard anyways.

Remember the glorious days of former Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Chairman, Ibrahim Magu? He was seen as untouchable, with various achievements attached to him.

He was shoulder to shoulder with the powerful politicians who have amassed so much wealth, so much that they could out of their 'stolen' wealth could feed a whole nation for years.

They were powerful. Some of them even belongs to one cabal or the other, but he kept on 'fighting' and recovering 'looted' funds from these power men and women, influential individuals and politicians. He was stepping on stones not looking back, not checking and balancing well until one tiny stone tripped him and he fell.

He fell so loud that he was 'disgraced' out of office. He left the exalted position unceremoniously. He could not read his valedictory speech to those officers who loved and cherished him, to Nigerians who appreciated his courage in the dispensation of his works.


Now, the baton has fallen into the hands of a 40 year old Abdulrasheed Bawa, who was confirmed as the new Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), yesterday. The new anti-graft boss who has spent about 16 years working with the EFCC as a detective,  graduated from the Usmanu Danfodio University, Sokoto, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics (Second Class Upper) in 2001, joined the EFCC as an Assistant Detective Superintendent (ADS) in 2004.

He also holds a Master’s degree in International Affairs and Diplomacy which he obtained from the same university in 2012.
According to his resume, he is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Laws degree at the University of London.

He was part of the pioneer EFCC Cadet Officers, course one, 2005, as he rose through the ranks to become a Deputy Chief Detective Superindent (DCDS), a position he has been holding since 2016 up till the time of his nomination as the anti-graft agency’s substantive chairman.
Yes! What an impressive resume. With this kind of detailed written account of his education and experience, he should be able to stand eyeball to eyeball and shoulder to shoulder with anyone in the world. 

And to display his gallantry, he took the bull by its horns by making the President of the most populous Black nation in the world, President Muhammad Buhari, his first call of visit after his confirmation at the Senate's hallow chamber. Young Bawa's eye-to-eye contact with President Buhari, goes a long way to suggest that the new 40-year old EFCC Chairman is bold enough to chew blades.

But the statement of the Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), earlier today is something I'm worried about. He reminded Nigerians about one of our major fears about the appointment of Mr. Bawa.

Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), said he is afraid that the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), will interfere in the duties of the new Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, and prevent him from succeeding. He said this partly because some sections of Nigerians have opined that for Bawa and Malami coming from the same State of Kebbi, they might be related.

On the freedom of the EFCC boss, Sagay said, “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.”

So, this takes me back to the question on my headline; Will the new EFCC boss, Bawa, be able to step on toes? Will the 'cabals' allow him to work? 

Remember his most famous quote from his screening at the Senate's Upper Chamber yesterday was, "I will make Nigerians proud."


Would 'they' allow him to make us proud? Can he develop enough guts to step on toes?
At least, someone recommended him to Mr. President, can he bite the fingers that fed him?

Only time will tell.

All I can wish him is, may he succeed as an anti-graft czar. Welcome onboard Mr. Bawa.


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