My frustrations with certain cases
OpenLife Nigeria reports that much as the saying goes that uneasy lies the head that wears the crown, the case of Alhaji Abdul Rasheed Bawa, newly appointed chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, appears substantially peculiar.
The young and articulate EFCC chair who has the record of being the first insider to lead the anti graft agency, has already hit the ground running barely few months after his appointment and confirmation by the Senate.
In his personal narratives, Bawa who said he is inspired by patriotic spirit to institutionalize an EFCC whereby superior instructions that are not in sync with the law will be disobeyed, however expressed worries, coming short of saying ‘my frustrations,’ over certain administrative protocols that slow down speedy execution of established cases.
He specifically pointed out the on going prosecution of former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Allison Madueke who served under Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s administration.
Speaking with Cyril Stober on NTA One on One Programme, Bawa thumbed up the agency’s recorded efforts in the Diezani Madueke’s case.
“On Diezani Allison Madueke, we have recorded success. We have recovered monies of about $153 million. We have achieved assets forfeiture estimated at about $85 million and we are not resting on our oars,” he disclosed.
However, of all these recorded successes, the agency has not been able to extradite Diezani Allison Madueke to Nigeria for prosecution in all the alleged financial infractions.
This, to the young chairman, is a major headache and indeed, his frustration.
But what could have been responsible for such obstacles?
Bawa explained that the agency enjoys the best of co operations with related agencies in the United States of America, United Kingdom, Australia, France, Germany and other countries in the world but certain aspects of international laws need due process to be strictly adhered for repatriation to be achieved and that technically applies to Diezani Allison Madueke who has explored that loophole to delay her extradition to Nigeria to face prosecution.
Bawa who explained that he has “set up different committees” to review EFCC’s mode of operations with a view for enhancement is worried about Diezani Allison Madueke despite his deep knowledge of how to crack high profile cases.
To the EFCC chair, it is not over until it is over. Therefore, the assets forfeiture and monies recovered are not enough to sing hallelujah in the Diezani Allison Madueke’s case until she is successfully extradited to Nigeria, prosecuted and appropriate punitive awarded.
Then only, according to Bawa, that the Agency would feel fulfilled for successfully completing the legal circle on Diezani Allison Madueke, a case that has generated local and international interests. But when will that be?
It would be recalled that soon after Goodluck Jonathan was defeated by President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the 2015 presidential contest, Mrs Diezani Allison Madueke who served as Petroleum Minister, left for England.
While speculations were rife about her pre occupation in London, it was Dele Momodu, the publisher of Ovation Magazine, that had an interactive session with her in November, barely six months after she left office and disclosed that Diezani Allison Madueke was down with terminal illness. The report indicated that Diezani was in and out of hospitals in the UK. Diezani also expressed ‘my frustrations’ in her sojourn in the Petroleum Ministry in the interview.
However, there were twists to Dele Momodu’s disclosure as Diezani’s lawyer, Oscar Onwudiwe reportedly said that Dele Momodu was not given permission to take the former minister’s pictures and that her family was “very upset” about the controversy the photos and the interview have caused.
According to Osca, family members also took exemption to Dele Momodu’s indiscretion for making the details of his interview with her public and probably using it to launch his The Boss newspaper.
Of recent however, nobody has been able to confirm her state of health, a development that may have frustrated EFCC and Bawa from extraditing the Bayelsa State born former minister who was a director in Shell Petroleum before she took up public office appointment.
Diezani Allison Madueke was the first female President of Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC. She was elected at the 166th OPEC Ordinary meeting in Vienna on 27 November 2014. She became Nigeria’s minister of transportation on 26 July 2007 following her nomination by Goodluck Jonathan who then was the Vice President to late President Umaru Yar’Adua.
Born on 6 December 1960 in Port Harcourt, Diezani married Allison Madueke, former Chief of Naval Staff in 1999 and the marriage is blessed with two children Ugonna Madueke and Chimezie Madueke.
She attended Howard University,1992 and University of Cambridge, Cambridge Judge Business School in 2003 for her various Masters degrees.