A Lawyer, Osuagwu Ugochukwu, has filed a suit before the Federal High Court, in Abuja, seeking to stop the Senate from confirming Abdulrasheed Bawa, as the new substantive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC,
The court document marked FHC/ABJ/CS/196/2021, was received at the office of the Senate President, Ahmad Lawa, on Thursday, according to an acknowledgement copy seen on Friday.
It was learnt that the Leadership of the Senate, the Presidency, and the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, OAGF, were holding talks as to how to address the issue in order, to avoid a repeat of the last screening exercise, where the then nominee, Ibrahim Magu, was rejected twice by the 8th Senate.
Bawa is also believed to be a kinsman of the AGF and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, who played a major role in the removal of Magu as the Acting EFCC Chairman, and reportedly recommended Bawa’s appointment to President Muhammadu Buhari, in a bid to have total control of the Commission, allegedly.
In the originating summons filed by the Lawyer, it was argued that Section 2 of the EFCC Act states that the EFCC shall have a Chairman, who shall be the Chief Executive and Accounting Officer of the Commission; be a serving or retired member of any government Security or Law Enforcement Agency, “not below the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police or equivalent; and possess not less than 15 years cognate experience”.
Ugochukwu asked the court to determine whether a Level 13 Officer like Bawa, is the equivalent of an Assistant Commissioner of Police, ACP.
He subsequently sought two reliefs, including “a declaration that the 2nd Defendant, (Bawa) who is a Grade Level 13 Public Service Officer, and not an Assistant Commissioner of Police or its equivalent, is not qualified to be the Chairman of the EFCC”, and “an order of perpetual injunction restraining the first Defendant (Senate) from confirming the appointment of the second Defendant (Bawa) as Chairman of the EFCC”.
More news later…