Nigeria’s President Tinubu Suspends Head Of Country’s Anti-Corruption Agency

Nigeria’s newly elected President Bola Tinubu on Wednesday suspended Abdulrasheed Bawa, the head of the country’s anti-corruption agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), indefinitely for abuse of office, reported Reuters.

A statement from the presidency released on Wednesday said the suspension was due to several allegations of abuse of office against Bawa. It said that the anti-corruption chief has been asked to step down in order to allow for a proper investigation into his conduct while in office.

Notably, there have been a number of corruption allegations against the 43-year-old Mr. Bawa since he came to power, which he has denied.

Last month, a former governor of the northern Zamfara state accused Nigeria’s anti-corruption chief of allegedly demanding a $2m (£1.58m) bribe from him. He denied the allegation.

Bawa was appointed as the chairman of Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in 2021 to lead the country’s fight against widespread corruption. The EFCC is tasked with investigating and prosecuting money laundering, graft, and other financial crimes including internet scams.

Bawa’s appointment was made after the Senate refused to approve the reappointment of his predecessor Ibrahim Magu who was in office for four years.

Previous appointees to the office were also found involved in controversies that eventually led to their removal. Magu was also suspended by then-president Muhammadu Buhari over allegations of corruption.

Bawa was the second dismissal of a top official by Tinubu since he came to office two weeks ago promising economic reforms. He was sworn in as the new president of Nigeria on May 29.

Last week, 71-year-old President Tinubu suspended Nigeria’s central bank Governor Godwin Emefiele. He was detained by the domestic security services as part of a probe into his role.

Notably, Nigeria is ranked 150th out of 180 countries in Transparency International’s Perception of corruption index.

Caroline Finnegan

A professionnal journalist for the past ten years, I cover global news and economic affairs for The Chief Observer.

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