By Amuda Dan Sulaiman Fab
The Governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle, has urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission not to limit its corruption probe to governors alone, but to extend it officials of the Presidency and the members of the Federal Executive Council.
The governor made the demand in a statement on Wednesday, in reaction to a report that quoted the EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa,as saying the anti-graft agency had sent invitations to all outgoing governors and commissioners for corruption probe.
Matawalle said while he had no problem with plan to probe outgoing governors, officials of the Presidency should also not be spared.
Matawalle said, “The investigation must be holistic and not selective. It is in this respect that the recent invitations and pronouncement by the EFCC chair is imbalance, incomplete, hypocritical and unnecessarily skewed.
“This is counter-productive to the anti-corruption crusade itself, that is if Mallam Bawa is actually committed to one.
“I demand that the EFCC chair extend similar invitations to officers of the Presidency and members of the Federal Executive Council, which is the highest tier of government in the country.
“In furtherance of my desire to engender a broad-based investigation and an enlargement of the fight against corruption, I will also demand that Abdulrasheed Bawa excuse himself and surrender himself for investigation, as I and some eminent Nigerians have evidence of corrupt practices, breach of public trust and abuse of office against him and the commission led by him.
“Importantly, he needs to come clean with Nigerians on the way and manner he has prosecuted the anti-corruption fight. He needs to explain among others how seized assets by the EFCC are being sold without adherence to due process.
“He should explain, for instance, how he has assumed the role of the plaintiff, prosecutor and jury and how he has executed his brand of plea bargaining with suspected criminals and saboteurs of the Nigerian economy and agenda who instead of being put on trial, are walking freely all over Nigeria.”
The Director, Media and Publicity, EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, did not respond to inquiries by our correspondent concerning the development and allegations as of press time, despite phone calls and text messages to his telephone line on Wednesday.