Following a high profile alarm raised in the media by the executive chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa that a ‘big-man’ has threatened to kill him, the Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy Group :- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has warned that nothing untoward or sinister should happen to the anti-graft Czar.
“We believe that the appointment of this youngster as the substantive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) could be a fresh breath into the increasingly waning and ethically diminished anti-graft crusade of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
Seeing his refreshing youthfulness and his expressed or vocalised zeal to battle relentlessly the hydra-headed monster of economic crimes especially amongst top flight government officials, we are hereby expressing our solidarity with the Chairman of EFCC Abdulrasheed Bawa and urging the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces to extend the best protection available humanly speaking to his trusted appointee who seems to have started well, so his adversaries will not put him in the way of harm or danger.
If anything happens to him, then it will be well known that forced embedded within the administration are the key suspects given the unprecedented quantum of sophisticated and crude economic crimes and corruption that have eroded the few gains made by the 6 year old administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. So it is in the self-enlightened interest of President Muhammadu Buhari that Abdulrasheed Bawa and other officers of the EFCC are protected from any sort of sinister violent plot”.
In another development, the Rights group HURIWA has asked the Senate not to confirm as National Commissioner Laurentia Onochie, who is a person widely known to be deeply divisive and a strong member of the All Progressive Congress and one of the die-hard partisan loyalist of President Muhammadu Buhari.
HURIWA said any attempt to confirm Onochie as a Federal Commissioner of INEC will be the death nail to the coffin to the Independence and impartiality of the electoral management body just as the group said the confirmation of Onochie would unambiguously become the everlasting evidence that the National Assembly has become a rubber-stamped institution and open to Corruption and compromises.
“We believe that Onochie who openly confessed her membership to the All Progressives Congress and has posted a lot of statements on the popular social media platforms to demonstrate her aversion for multiparty democracy but prefers a one party state, is not a fit and proper person to be so appointed into INEC. Her enlistment into INEC means that the 2023 election has been rigged already in favour of the ruling All Progressives Congress. Her going to INEC means the official obituary and death of INEC”.
Asking Senator Ahmed Lawan -led senate to maintain the already established precedent by rejecting Laurentia Onochie’s nomination as National Commissioner of INEC, HURIWA recalled that on December 3rd 2019, the senate rejected the nomination of Raheem Muideen Olalekan as the Resident Electoral Commissioner representing Osun State of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
According to the Senate, confirmation of Muiden Olalekan as REC be deferred until he satisfactorily clears himself of all the allegations levelled against him by the petitioner.
Resolutions of the Senate were subsequent to the consideration of the report of the Chairman, Senate Committee on INEC,Senator Kabiru Gaya. All Progressives Congress, APC, Kano South on the confirmation of Appointments as Resident Electoral Commissioners of INEC.
Presenting the report, Senator Kabiru Gaya said that the Committee did not recommend for the confirmation of Muideen’s nomination because he could not defend the allegations of bias levelled against him by a petitioner.
HURIWA recalled that there was mild drama at the Senate Committee on INEC last month November 5 when the Osun State Commissioner nominee for INEC, Raheem Muideen, admitted that he remained a member of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
On the specific threat to the life of the Chairman of EFCC, HURIWA has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to see it as a task that he must do to protect the chairman and members of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission because of the fact that if and only if their duty is properly implemented, it could ensure that Nigeria’s economy does not collapse under the heavy weight of systemic and systematic, Institutional and bureaucratic corruption tearing down the existential fabrics of the Nigerian State.
HURIWA recalled that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Chairman, Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa, has said that he has been getting death threats to his life. According to him, he got to know last week that someone was threatening to kill him.
HURIWA quoted Abdulrasheed Bawa as stating in the media however that the war against corruption is winnable because the social malaise can be tamed, stating that between 90 and 100 per cent of looted funds end up being laundered through real estate.
Bawa made the disclosures while appearing on the Sunrise Daily programne on Channels Television.
The EFCC boss said: “Last week, I was in New York, as all Nigerians are aware of. A very senior citizen received a phone call from somebody that is not even under investigation.
“What he (the caller) said to him on phone is that; he is going to kill the EFCC chairman, the young man. He said, ‘I am going to kill him. I am going to kill him’. This is to tell you how bad it is. It is actually real. Corruption can fight back.”
When further asked if he meant he has been receiving death threats, the EFCC chairman said, “Yes”.
HURIWA’S statement to the media was signed jointly by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and Zainab Yusuf the Director of media nationwide.
“HURIWA is calling on patriots to speak out. We are cslkingbon credible Civil Rights leaders to speak out to put pressure on both the EFCC Chairman and President Muhammadu Buhari to name, shame, prosecute and punish the particular identifiable man that the EFCC chairman said made a call and threatened to kill him. In the last five years, life has become very cheap in Nigeria and mass killers are roaming freely even within the corridors of power in Abuja and nothing is happening. The early warning by Abdulrasheed Bawa should not be treated the usual fire Brigade approach whereby government would wait until the threat is executed before running around trying to spread propaganda”.