Details have emerged as to why Abdulrasheed Bawa, the ousted chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), was really placed on indefinite suspension by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and subsequently invited by the Department of States Security (DSS), for questioning, over his activities during his brief stay as the boss of the anti-graft agency.
Although the presidency claims he was suspended on allegations of abuse of office, that is just a term to cover up for why he was really sent packing.
We gathered that following a grand design by the cabals in the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to stop at nothing to ensure that Tinubu did not emerge victorious in the presidential election, various groups within the cabal came up with different strategies, all aimed at stopping Tinubu in his tracks. While some experimented with artificial scarcity with petroleum products, others like Buhari’s nephew, Tunde Sabiu, attempted to stop Buhari from campaigning for Tinubu.
This, however, became unsustainable after a while. Tunde tried frustrating Tinubu’s efforts to have private discussions about the elections with Buhari. But Bawa felt that the last-minute redesigning of the naira notes was the best way to stifle Tinubu’s ambition. As the originator, he co-opted Abubakar Malami, the immediate past Minister for Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, both of whom sold the idea to Buhari. On enquiries about the feasibility of the grand scheme coming to fruition, the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, who was also ousted from office, admitted that it could be done, despite the short time frame between when the redesign would happen and the general elections.
Having been convinced beyond reasonable doubt and despite concerns from a cross section of Nigerians, Buhari boldly told the nation that the Naira design was meant to stop vote buying, a major feature in Nigeria’s electoral process and to also give some semblance of credibility to the general elections.
Unfortunately, the plan boomeranged in their faces. Not only did it cause untold hardship to Nigerians, it did nothing to stop vote buying, as many politicians were caught on camera openly giving voters miserly pittance in exchange for their votes. And what is more, Tinubu ended up being declared the president, much to their consternation.
Also, shortly after Emefiele was sent packing from office and the DSS said it was digging into his time in office, as well as the earlier allegations against him including allegations of money laundering, Bawa had approached Tinubu and asked that the case be transferred to his office since anything that had to do with financial crimes is under his purview. Tinubu quietly listened to him and after he left, he got the Secretary of the Government of the Federation to announce his suspension. As the fifth EFCC chairman to be removed from office disgracefully, Bawa has a lot of explaining to do and may have even begun to sing like a canary to the authorities.