By Soni Daniel
Newly-appointed Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa, assumed duty in Abuja, pledging to wage intelligence-driven war against corruption .
Bawa formally took over from Mohammed Umar Abba, who had been acting as the chairman of the commisson since the former Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, was ousted in July last year.
The new chairman, who was confirmed by the Senate for the grat fight, vowed to steer the organization towards proactive and intelligence-led investigation through the creation of a full-fledged directorate of intelligence that would spearhead intelligence gathering and enhance proactive response in the fight against corruption.
The chairman said: “We are going to digitalize our processes and we are going to create a new full-pledged directorate of intelligence to enable us gather intelligence so that we will be proactive in our fight against economic and financial crimes; and by so doing, we will also provide the government with necessary quality advice that will lead to good governance”.
The new EFCC boss promised a paradigm shift in the agency’s approach to anti-graft war, from fighting corrupt persons to fighting corruption, saying “There is a difference between fighting corruption and fighting corrupt people; and going forward, we are going to be proactive in our approach in the fight against economic and financial crimes.
“For our strategic partners across the shores of this country, we will continue to work together with you. We will continue to share intelligence, to see that the stolen wealth of this country is returned for the betterment of us all. But all of these, we will be doing it the way the EFCC is known to be doing its things. The provision of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, extent laws of the country have always been and will always be our guide,” he said.
The chairman also pledged to prioritize staff welfare, stressing that he is going to work on it, and also to ask the government for necessary support. “We know the problems and God willing, we are going to solve these problems,” he assured.
Earlier in his handing over remarks, the out-going Acting Chairman of the Commission, Mohammed Umar Abba, congratulated Bawa for a well-deserved appointment and wished him well in his new assignment and expressed delight in handing over to someone who understands the job of the EFCC and has worked assiduously to enhance its success.
Umar, who also thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for giving him the opportunity to lead the commission in acting capacity, disclosed that under his watch, the agency prosecuted 804 cases and obtained a total of 583 convictions.
He added that substantial recovery running into billions of Naira was made, while various assets were equally forfeited through interim or final orders of court.