EFCC: Itse Sagay fears Malami won’t let Bawa succeed

Itse Sagay fears Malami won’t let Bawa succeed

Prof. Itsay Sagay



The Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Prof. Itse Sagay, has expressed doubt that the newly appointed Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, would succeed in office.

Sagay, a senior advocate of Nigeria, says he is afraid that the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, would interfere in the duties of the youthful EFCC Chairman and prevent him from succeeding.

In an interview published in The Punch, on Wednesday, Prof Sagay described Malami, whose petition to President Muhammadu Buhari led to the investigation and subsequent sacking of the former EFCC acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, as a politician and must not be allowed to directly control the EFCC, as this could derail the anti-corruption war of the Federal Government.

Sagay, who supported Magu during his time in EFCC and had pushed for his confirmation as substantive chairman, stated that Malami had become too powerful and had never been inclined to support the independence of anti-graft agencies.

READ: Stop the lies! Your salary is N15 million not N750,000 monthly – Sagay

“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 said.

On the independence of the EFCC, 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 (EFCC operatives) 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 at the possibility that they might be related.”

READ: I will lead by example, Bawa, gets Senate confirmation as EFCC Chair

While admitting that he did not know Bawa personally, Sagay said he was impressed by his curriculum vitae and background.

He said since Magu had been removed, it was time for all parties to move on and ensure that Bawa succeeds.

“I don’t really know him. I have just read what has been said about him and he seems to have impressive credentials and a fairly good record from what I read, apart from this issue of trucks which the EFCC has denied on his behalf.

“So, inasmuch as the removal of Magu to me looks unsatisfactory, we have to move on and if he is as good as his credentials indicate, then I think the future looks promising for the EFCC.”

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
%d bloggers like this: