President Muhammadu Buhari has met with the new Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa at the Statehouse.
The Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, joined in the meeting minutes after it commenced.
Though the agenda of the familiarization meeting is yet to be confirmed, the discourse might not be unconnected with his mandate as the new EFCC boss.
Meanwhile, the Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay has raised a huge concern that Malami may hinder Bawa of his job as the Chairman of the Commission.
Prof. Sagay expressed the fear on Wednesday while addressing newsmen, stating that Malami would prevent Bawa from succeeding by interfering in the duties of the new Chairman.
The PACAC chairman, who was a staunch supporter of former acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, said Malami is a politician and must not be allowed to directly control the activities of the EFCC as this could derail the anti-corruption war of the Federal Government.
“This issue is a very big question because I noticed that 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.
“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”, said Sagay.
The PACAC chairman maintained that Malami had never been inclined to support the independence of anti-graft agencies.
Sagay argued that he had made his position known several times but unfortunately, Malami’s powers had continued 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,” he further argued.