President Muhammdu Buhari has been urged to order the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to commence an investigation into the alleged corruption leveled against the director general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Bashir Jamoh.
Legit.ng reports that the plea was made on Wednesday, November 16, at a press briefing organized by the Centre for Public Accountability (CPA) and Civil Society Partners, in Lagos.
Speaking on behalf of the coalition, the executive director of CPA, Olufemi Lawson, alleged that the chairman of the Economic and Finance Crime Commission (EFCC), Abdurasheed Bawa, has failed to investigate the allegation of diversion of funds against Jamoh.
Why DG must be investigated
He said an online news platform (not Legit.ng) had on May 21, 2021, alleged that the DG was involved in some shady deals, ranging from blatant corruption and abuse of office.
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According to him, CPA was surprised when the DG openly challenged the EFCC to investigate him and make public his findings.
He added that after more than a year, it became a kind of hide-and-seek game, as nothing has been heard from the EFCC.
Lawson also noted that it was during the waiting period that the coalition stumbled on the possible reasons the allegations against Jamoh, may have been swept under the carpet.
CPA wants ICPC to take over the case
The group alleged that three of the EFCC chairman’s siblings were enjoying ‘scholarships’ from the DG who ought to have been investigated.
"We want President Muhammadu Buhari to step into this matter, and direct the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission ICPC, to take over Bashir Jamoh’s case with the view to get to the root of the matter.
"We also want the National Assembly, especially the Senate to ask the EFCC chairman to step aside, while a thorough investigation is carried out to unravel the mystery behind the ‘scholarships’ given to his siblings."
Speaking further, the coalition also stated that some cases of alleged corruption that should have been concluded by the EFCC still remain inconclusive.
The group emphasised:
"You are all aware of the corruption allegations against the Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr. Mudashiru Obasa. Apart from the sensational report in the media, up till today, more than two years after, he has not been charged and neither has the case been conclusive.
"Whereas in the case of another Assembly speaker in nearby Ogun state, Mr. Olakunle Oluomo was promptly arrested at the airport and charged to court by the Bawa-led EFCC. Is this not a case of double standard or cherry-picking depending on who’s involved?
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the conviction of Abdulrasheed Bawa, the chairman of the EFCC for contempt was set aside by the high court of the Federal Capital Territory.
It was reported that during a proceeding on Thursday, November 10, the presiding judge, Justice Chizoba Oji read out the court's decision to void the initial ruling.
According to the court, Bawa was not in contempt of court since he had adhered to the order that the respondent’s Range Rover be released and by many internal memoranda, the applicant had initiated the EFCC's internal mechanism to ensure the payment of the sum of N40,000,000 to the respondent.