Buhari happy with what I’m doing in EFCC – Bawa

EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa and President Muhammadu Buhari at Aso Rock presidential villa

By Ismaila Chafe

Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa, the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has said President Muhammadu Buhari is happy with the reforms he has been carrying out in the anti- graft agency since he took over as the helmsman of the agency.

Bawa spoke to journalists after a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja, on Tuesday.

The meeting was the second one between the new EFCC boss, and the President.

Bawa told journalists that he briefed the President on the ongoing reforms being carried out by the new management of the commission under his leadership

He added that the President was happy with what he heard from him.

”We reviewed a lot of things that we want to do towards eradication of financial crimes in Nigeria.

”As you are aware, I was here about two weeks ago before my taking over.

“He (Buhari) is happy with what he has heard so far with the reforms we are working on with the new EFCC going forward, in terms of the way we investigate, prosecute and the way we are generally executing our mandate,” Bawa said.

The new EFCC Chairman also described the menace of cybercrime as a huge challenge to the country, nothing that about 300 cyber criminals were apprehended by the commission in the last four weeks.

He, therefore, appealed to parents, guardians as well as religious and traditional leaders to redouble efforts in educating the younger people on the danger of cybercrime to the nation’s economy and the society.

”In the last one month, we have arrested about 300 cyber criminals across the country and it was reported in the media.

”It is something that I am particularly worried about.

”As a young man, I am appealing to all young Nigerians to desist from these cybercrime activities.

”It is bringing bad image to our country, it is giving bad name to our country.

”It is also chasing away a lot of foreign investment that we need.

”I call on all parents, guardians, and, of course, elders in the community, in the society to be able to talk to these young people to desist from these crimes,” he said.

He also said assets declaration by bankers and financial institutions is part of the measures meant to ensure that the country is free of financial crimes.

He said: ”We are doing our best to ensure that this country is free of financial crimes.

”We understood that the tail end of every financial crime is for the criminal to have access to the funds that he or she has illegitimately gotten, and we’re worried about the roles of financial institutions.

”We hope that all financial institutions, particularly the bankers, will declare their assets as provided for by the law, in accordance with the Bank Employees Declaration of Asset Act.

”And that the EFCC, come June 1, 2021, will be demanding for this asset declaration forms, filled by the bankers so that the line that we have drawn from the first of June is really complied with by bankers in particular.”