CSOs seek better handling of Bawa’s suspension, detention





Yesterday, a coalition of CSOs called for openness in the processing of AbdulRasheed Bawa's suspension and continued imprisonment as the former head of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

African Network for Environmental and Economic Justice, Procurement Observation and Advocacy Initiative, Civil Society Legislative and Advocacy Centre, and Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre) are among the organisations.

Bawa, who once oversaw the anti-graft agency's operations, was taken into custody on June 14 of this year for alleged abuse of office by Department of State Services (DSS) agents.

The CSOs bemoaned the lack of official charges or justifications for his imprisonment, adding that such a development violates the nation's core values of justice and due process.

The claims were made by politicians who are close to the corridors of power, which the coalition lamented.

The organisations drew attention to a troubling trend with the EFCC's leadership, noting that previous chairpersons like Nuhu Ribadu, Farida Waziri, Ibrahim Lamorde, and Ibrahim Magu all had disputed removals from their positions.

In a statement, the organisations submitted: “The indefinite detention of Bawa without proper trial raises even more serious concerns and is distasteful.”

They maintained that the protracted arrest, which took place without any sort of due process, damaged the reputation of the anti-corruption movement and cast doubt on the intentions underlying these acts.

The organisations asserted that the predicament conveys the wrong impression about the country's commitment to combating corruption.

The coalition added: “It prompts reflection on whether the anti-corruption battle remains effective when those leading the charge are subjected to vague accusations and prolonged incarceration. This incident prompts questions about the impartiality of the justice system and its vulnerability to political influence.”

Therefore, it demanded that Bawa conduct a comprehensive investigation and bring charges if severe offences were found to have been committed.






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