By Emmanuel Udom
Last week Friday, Abdulrasheed Bawa, chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, officially assumed duties. Like others before him, Bawa pledged to steer the organization towards proactive and intelligence-led investigation.
This was when he appeared before the senate for his confirmation, where he showed in words, appearance and body language that he has what it takes to fight corruption in Nigeria.
He also promised to create a full-fledged directorate of intelligence that would spearhead intelligence gathering. This means, ensuring a proactive response in the fight against corruption. This is a good copy, if well structured, well managed, not politicized.
Bawa is young, tried, tested and an experienced detective. So, he has the energy and the gut to tackle corruption. He was in-charge of the Lagos office of the commission. Therefore, he is an insider.
We need experienced, competent and tested Nigerian youths in our country like Bawa to man various government agencies, ministries, parastatals, anti-corruption agencies, offices, etc, at various levels in our beloved country.
But, time has a way of revealing our true motives, beyond talks and promises. I wish the new EFCC war-lord the very best. Off course he knows that anti-corruption war is deadly, slippery and sophisticated. In Nigeria, when we fight corruption, it fights back.
He also know that it the powerful, the wealthy, the well-connected and influential persons in our midst that are always linked one way or the other with corruption. Yes, there are lesser being too involved in the act.
Recently, Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, lamented about his loses in local and foreign currencies when suspected hoodlums, who disguised as #EndSARS protesters, stormed his palace in Lagos.
Remember, media and other reports quoted Akiolu as saying that the hoodlums carted away his staff of office, stole $2 million and N17 million respectively, belonging to him. He may be right, he may be wrong; I was not a witness to the looting of his palace.
Debo Adeniran, executive chairman, rattled by the statement of the first class Oba, a retired senior police officer for that matter, issued a press statement calling on EFCC to investigate Akiolu.
The words of Debo: “It would be recalled that the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu had said the sum of $2 million and N17 million were stolen when youths attacked his palace on October 21, 2020 in the violence that erupted after the #EndSARS protests”
“We heard the news and we were aghast that the Oba of Lagos can have such a humongous amount of money right in his palace”.
Like the CACOL boss and other public commentators asked and are still asking, where exactly is the source of Akiolu’s millions, is he a businessman to generate such huge money?, or is Oba operating a bank, a bureau-de- change in his palace?
These are questions EFCC and other security agencies should ask the Oba to explain. I am pretty sure some of us will be interested in knowing whether or not the Oba has violated some laws on money laundering.
Akiolu, a first class traditional ruler, a retired senior police officer and off course a patriotic Nigerian should also be bold enough to come out again and tell the whole world, sources of the stolen millions in local and foreign currencies.
The Oba is bold, courageous, out-spoken and as I said earlier, patriotic. This is the time to show beyond words that he means well for Lagos, for Nigeria, if invited by EFCC to shed more light on how he made such huge money.