Fresh information has emerged that the suspended Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, has refused to get himself a lawyer for his defence.
Naija News reports that Bawa has spent 67 days in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).
The secret police arrested him on June 14, and he has since been in custody.
Sources, according to The Punch, have revealed that the suspended EFCC boss has refused to answer any queries brought before him by the DSS and has also refused to write any statement.
One of the sources said, “Bawa has refused to get a lawyer to represent him in court or request for his release from custody on bail. He has also refused to write any statement or answer questions posed to him by several operatives that have queried him in detention.”
Another government source who pleaded anonymity revealed that the DSS had yet to file charges against the embattled EFCC boss as an investigation is still ongoing.
“The DSS has yet to charge him to court because they’re still carrying out their investigation to get enough evidence to help their case,” the source said.
Recall that the DSS had earlier obtained an exparte order in June to extend Bawa’s detention in their facility, while they continue with their investigation.
The government source said the move by the DSS was to deter the Bawa from filing lawsuits to enforce his fundamental human rights.
The source said, “The DSS obtained an ex parte order from the court during the week to continue the detention of Emefiele beyond 48 hours so that his lawyers would not file a lawsuit claiming that his fundamental rights are being trampled upon. You know he’s not supposed to be detained beyond 48 hours, according to the Constitution.
“The service also got a similar order on Thursday concerning Bawa’s detention to enable it to conclude interrogation and investigation over the allegations levelled against him.”
While Bawa is being held for alleged financial impropriety under his watch, some sources privy to the case told the platform that he was arrested for allegedly selling at least 244 trucks worth between N20 million and N30 million each to his cronies at the cost of N100,000 per unit, hence depriving the country of about N4.8 billion in potential loot recovery.
Sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, disclosed that the forfeiture proceedings of most of the trucks were yet to be concluded when Bawa allegedly disposed of them.
One of the sources said, “In 2019, Bawa was arrested and questioned over the sale of about 244 trucks that were seized by our Port Harcourt zonal office, where he worked then as zonal head. That case is one of the major reasons why he was suspended and is being investigated.
“He sold the trucks worth between N20m and N30m each to his proxies at N100,000 per unit, depriving the country of about N4.8bn in potential loot recovery.
“This prompted the former EFCC Secretary, Ola Olukoyede, to confront the EFCC boss in 2019, as he was said to have received complaints that Bawa was tampering with assets undergoing forfeiture proceedings. But when Bawa was queried about what happened to the trucks, he claimed that he was acting on the instructions of the former Chairman, Magu, but he never wrote that in his statement.”
Another source privy to the case said one of the reasons he is being held down is due to the allegation levelled against him by the former governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle.
In May 2023, the former Governor of Zamfara state, Bello Matawalle, during an interview with BBC Hausa, accused Bawa of demanding a $2m bribe from him.
“You’re very much aware that Matawalle also accused the chairman of demanding a $2m bribe from him. That’s also part of the allegations levelled against him that led to his suspension.
“Also, there’s an allegation that Bawa collaborated with the suspended CBN governor, Emefiele, in some fraudulent dealings with Bureau De Change operators,” the source submitted.
However, the spokesperson for the DSS, Dr Peter Afunaya, when contacted by The Punch, declined comments on the development.
He said, “I have no comments on this, please.”