Amid calls for prosecution or release, DSS recovers N580million from detained former EFCC boss, Bawa


igeria’s secret police have retrieved over N580 million from the former chairman of the anti-corruption body, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, sources have told SaharaReporters.

Sources in the Department of State Services (DSS) which has detained Bawa since June told SaharaReporters on Friday that the former anti-corruption chief has coughed up over N580 million illegally acquired during his time as the head of the agency.

This comes amid pressure on the DSS to either release Bawa or charge him with offences the secret police’s investigation has found that Bawa committed.

President Bola Tinubu suspended Bawa indefinitely as the chairman of the EFCC in June “to allow for proper investigation into his conduct while in office” following “weighty allegation of abuse of office leveled against him”.

Bawa was taken into custody by the DSS on June 14 hours after his suspension by the president and has since remained there.

In August, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) threatened to sue President Tinubu’s administration over the continued detention of Bawa by the DSS without arraignment for proper charges.

Also, on Wednesday, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, knocked President Tinubu’s administration over the continued detention of Bawa and the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, without trial.

“It is indefensible to keep the EFCC Chairman and the CBN governor under arrest for extended periods of time without or before trial, just as it is also unacceptable that political parties are used to intimidate and harass citizens exercising their opinions in the public domain,” Lawal said in his statement.

“Over N580 million has been retrieved from the incarcerated former chairman of the anti-graft agency, EFCC,” one of the sources told SaharaReporters.

SaharaReporters also reported in June that Bawa had been taken from the headquarters of the secret police to a private facility to have total control over him after he refused to write any statements in custody.

It was learnt that Bawa told investigators that the DSS had no right to detain him without charges, hence his refusal to write any statements in custody.

“They’ve taken Bawa from DSS headquarters to one of their private facilities to have total control over him after he refused to write statements requested from him,” a top security source had said.

“The detained EFCC chairman has refused to write statements; he told DSS they have no right to detain him without charges.

“He was also accused of shielding former Governor of Zamfara, Abdulaziz Yari, while helping him to hunt down his opponents,” a source had told SaharaReporters.

“So far since his detention, he has vehemently refused to cooperate with DSS investigators,” another top source had noted.