Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, has alleged that the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, requested a $2 million bribe from him.
Matawalle made the allegations Friday, amidst a growing conflict between the governor and the anti-corruption agency. The governor in a statement released on Wednesday called for Bawa’s resignation, asserting that the EFCC Chairman should face scrutiny over corruption allegations.
Recall that the EFCC, through its Director of Public Affairs, Osita Nwajah, had yesterday disclosed that the governor is under investigation for alleged corruption that bordered on contract fraud and diversion of funds meant for the execution of projects in the local government areas to the tune of N70billion. He had warned of the intent of the likes of the governor and other politically exposed persons, who were under investigation by the anti-graft Agency, to smear the integrity of the Commission, calling it “a case of corruption fighting back”.
Bawa, however, rebutted the accusations, stating that he has nothing to conceal and encouraged the governor to petition relevant authorities if he possesses any incriminating evidence.
Meanwhile, Matawalle, in a BBC Hausa interview, voiced his distrust of Bawa and questioned the EFCC’s selective scrutiny, saying, “It is not just to always blame governors. It is not only governors who have treasury. The federal government also has. What does the EFCC boss do to them? As he is claiming he has evidence on governors, let him show to the world evidence of those at the federal level.
“If he exits office, people will surely know he is not an honest person. I have evidence against him. Let him vacate office, I am telling you within 10 seconds probably more than 200 people will bring evidences of bribe he collected from them. He knows what he requested from me but I declined”.
Matawalle averred that he had evidence the Bawa requested a bribe of $2 million from him, adding, “he knows the house we met, he invited me and told me the conditions. He told me governors were going to his office but I did not. If I don’t have evidence, I won’t say this.”