Chairman of Nigeria’s Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) Itse Sagay has expressed concern that the country’s attorney-general Abubakar Malami may interfere in the duties of Abdulrasheed Bawa, the newly-appointed chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Sagay, a senior advocate of Nigeria and a professor of law described Malami as a politician and called for a check on the powers of the attorney-general of the federation so as not to command the activities of the commission.
Sagay stated this in an interview with one of Nigeria’s daily, The PUNCH and faulted the fact that Malami and Bawa come from the same Kebbi state and could be related.
“This issue is a very big question because I noticed that they both come from the same state of Kebbi and they may even be related,” Sagay said.
“For me, that is not a very healthy thing because the chairman of the EFCC and the EFCC are supposed to be independent.
“They are not politicians, they are trained security officers. The attorney-general is a politician who has all the weaknesses and loads of a politician.
“He has people he is obliged to. He has people who are close to him. Some of them may be criminals who might have committed crimes. In fact, some of them may deliberately do things because they think they know the attorney-general.
“So, in such a situation, if Bawa is related to the attorney-general, then there will be a problem because he will not be able to do his job freely because the attorney-general will certainly interfere.
“He has already indicated his tendency to interfere in both the EFCC and the ICPC with the regulations he purported to make months ago. So, I am not comfortable at all that the possibility that they might be related.”
Sagay is of the opinion that the AGF wields enormous power which has increased over the years.
He said: “Malami has never been inclined to allow the anti-corruption agencies to operate freely. He is always sitting on their neck one way or the other.
“I have complained about that several times and nothing has happened. In fact, he has become more powerful. So, I will not be comfortable if they are related. I don’t want any outside influence on the EFCC or the ICPC.”