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Abdulrasheed Bawa, the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, said on Thursday that Nigerians will learn the identities of terrorism financiers in the country at the appropriate time.
He appeared as a guest on Channels Television’s current affairs programme “Politics Today,” which was monitored by The PUNCH.
Bawa, who collapsed during an official function at the Aso Rock Villa earlier on Thursday, also said he had seen a doctor and that “everything about me is okay, except for the fact that I’m a little dehydrated and I need to drink a lot of water,” adding that he had seen his doctor.
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Following the corruption allegations levelled against embattled ex-acting EFCC chair, Ibrahim Magu, and his subsequent suspension, President Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) named 41-year-old Bawa as the fourth chairman of the EFCC on February 16, 2021.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was established in the early 2000s during President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration to combat economic and financial crimes such as advance fee fraud (419), money laundering, terrorism financing, and other miscellaneous offences.
Six Nigerians and 32 others were named and prosecuted by the United Arab Emirates on Monday for allegedly financing terrorism.
Abdurrahaman Ado Musa, Salihu Yusuf Adamu, Bashir Ali Yusuf, Muhammed Ibrahim Isa, Ibrahim Ali Alhassan, and Surajo Abubakar Muhammad are among the Nigerians on the UAE’s terrorism list.
Between 2015 and 2016, Nigerians are said to have transferred up to $800,000 to Boko Haram.
The six people were allegedly tried in the UAE and sentenced to at least ten years in prison.
Nigerians were transferring money to the sect from the United Arab Emirates, he claimed.
“If you are my adviser, will you advise me to come on national television to tell the whole world about sensitive national security issues?” the EFCC chairman asked the interviewer on Thursday. Not. But I want to reassure you that we are working tirelessly with our sister agencies to keep this country safe from terrorism.”
When asked if it was appropriate for the government to keep the identities of terror financiers whose activities have resulted in the deaths of thousands of innocent people hidden, Bawa responded, “Of course, transparency is one of the bedrock(s) of this administration, of course, I am not a spokesman for this administration, but I believe that at the right time Nigerians will get to know those that have caused the deaths of thousands of innocent people.”
“These are issues that extend beyond the borders of this country, and we are, of course, working tirelessly with our international partners as well as other sister organisations here at home to address them. We’re working; it’s not something we should come out and say that these are our operating procedures.”
Terrorism financing has become a major concern in Nigeria in recent years, with some unnamed politicians being accused of collaborating with the marauders.
Boko Haram terrorists mentioned names of current governors, senators, and Aso Rock officials as sponsors during interrogation, according to a former Navy Commodore, Kunle Olawunmi, but the President has shown an unwillingness to go after the high-profile politicians for reasons best known to him.
Obadiah Mailafia, a former deputy governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank, claimed in September that a serving northern governor was a Boko Haram leader and moneybag.
The Boko Haram terrorist group has killed thousands of Nigerians in the North-East, particularly in the states of Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa, for over a decade. The Nigerian Army and the Presidency have claimed the terrorist group has been “technically defeated” and “weakened,” but the bloodthirsty terrorist group continues to strike with audacity and savagery.