Arewa youths call for Abdulrashid Bawa's unconditional release, describe EFCC as a joke


By Williams Ago, Gombe

The Coalition of Arewa Youth Consultative Forum has expressed concern over the systemic failure of Nigeria's top anticorruption agency, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) in having a flawless, transparent leadership system.

It therefore called for urgent systemic reform within the EFCC to address the persistent issue of instability in leadership adding, "we urge the government to prioritize the selection of highly qualified and credible individuals to lead the commission, with a commitment to allowing them to complete their tenure without unwarranted interference. This will help restore public confidence and enable the EFCC to effectively fulfill its mandate.

The CAYCF also called for the unconditional release of the embattled former chairman of the EFCC, Mr Abdulrashid Bawa, from the DSS custody.

The coalition said Mr. Bawa was reportedly suspended from office on June 14, 2023 and subsequently detained by the DSS and that since then, there has been no official statement from the government, the EFCC and the DSS, nor has he been formally charged in a court of law.

According to the coalition, "this unfortunate event underscores a disturbing pattern where none of the previous chairpersons of the EFCC have successfully completed their tenure, revealing the glaring joke that the system has become".

 Babangida Malabu (first from left), convener of Coalition of Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (CAYCF) addressing journalists.

Addressing journalists in Kaduna and a copy of the statement made available to our correspondent in Gombe, the convener of the coalition, Babangida Malabu, said apart from calling for the immediate release of Mr. Bawa, the coalition strongly demands transparency regarding the charges against him.

The coalition also said, Mr. Bawa's detention raises serious concerns about due process, as there have been no official charges or transparent explanations provided for his removal and subsequent detainment. 

It said, "this lack of clarity erodes public trust and fuels scepticism about the motivations behind these actions. It is imperative that the authorities promptly disclose the reasons for Mr. Bawa's detention and ensure that he is afforded his rights under the law.

"As citizens, we have the right to know the nature of the accusations against him and the evidence supporting those claims. Transparency is not only vital for maintaining public trust in our institutions but also for ensuring that justice is served.

"As a civil society group dedicated to upholding justice and accountability, we believe in the fundamental principle of due process. It is essential that all individuals, regardless of their positions, are afforded their rights, including the right to a fair and timely trial. Mr. Bawa's continued detention without formal charges violates these principles and undermines the credibility of our justice system,” it stated.

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