Bawa, the current executive chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, said “there is a difference between fighting corruption and fighting corrupt people; going forward, we are going to be proactive in our approach in the fight against economic and financial crimes.”
This is quite a shift from the belief by some persons that the EFCC is a tool for fighting the opposition.
After assuming the office of EFCC boss on March 5, 2021; Bawa hit the ground running.
According to him, some of the measures being implemented to prevent corruption included the development of a Property
Ownership Database with the ultimate objective of determining the beneficial owners of properties.
Under his watch, the EFCC, on Wednesday, July 14, 2021 launched its novel Eagle Eye (EFCC) Application for both the Google Play Store and the Apple Store, designed as the “EFCC case reporting tool”. The App is aimed at further making the anti-corruption agency easily accessible to whistleblowers, in and outside of
In addition to the App, Bawa has also kept his promise of revamping the Commission’s intelligence gathering network, by creating a full-fledged Department of Intelligence, equipped with modern tools and trained personnel, including a Cyber laboratory.
Recoveries And Convictions
In the execution of its mandate, more than 680 convictions have also been secured including that conviction of Francis Atuche, a former managing director of the defunct BankPHB Plc (now Keystone Bank) on June 16, 2021 for a N25.7billion fraud.
Staff welfare has also been prioritized, to boost morale of personnel.
Infrastructure development to further provide a good working environment for staff, significant infrastructural developments are taking place across offices of the Commission, located in 14 states.
The EFCC Academy located at Karu, Abuja, is witnessing a significant uplift, aimed at repositioning the Academy to put it at par with international centers of education. The Academy is to be equipped with state-of-the-art electronic and interactive teaching equipment.
Construction of additional blocks of offices is in top gear at the Benin, Enugu, Kaduna, Ibadan, Port
Harcourt, Maiduguri, Sokoto and Uyo commands.
The commission’s Forensics and Crime Laboratory Services Department has received a new lease of life under the current administration with the provision of specialized tools and support required to perform its functions efficiently, thereby contributing significantly to the commission’s investigation and prosecutorial activities.
Speaking on the challenges at the EFCC, Bawa said, “I am not unmindful of the enormous responsibility before me and my colleagues but I believe we are up to the task. I also believe that we may not fix the blame of the past, we will accept our own responsibility for the future. The fear of God, national interest, patriotism and the fact that we are young men and the future of this country is with us, are the driving force that will ensure that at the end of my tenure, I will leave the EFCC a better place.”
Bawa holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and a Master’s degree in International Affairs and Diplomacy both from Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto.
According to him, “I am a certified fraud examiner from the prestigious America-based Association of Certified Fraud Examiners which is the largest anti-fraud organisation in the world with over 85,000 members drawn from over 140 countries. I am also a certified anti-money laundering specialist which is also an America-based association that dedicates itself to enhancing the capacity of financial crimes fighters around the world.”
YUSUF MAGAJI BICHI
Bichi, the current director-general of the Department of State Security Services on assumption of office three years ago, adopted cooperation as basis for interagency relationship as he harps on effective and proactive communication as bedrock of public and media engagements.
His three years in office has witnessed a lot of changes in staff welfare and motivation, collaborative and strategic engagements with sister agencies and stakeholders are on the rise.
Born in 1956 in the ancient city of Bichi, Kano State, he attended Danbatta Secondary School and the College of Advanced Studies, Kano.
An alumnus of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria where he studied Political Science and graduated in 1981. He started his career in the Security Division of the Kano State Cabinet Office. He was to later transfer his services in 1984 to the then National Security Organisation (NSO) now State Security Service (SSS)/Department of State Services (DSS).
Department of State Services in the last three years under the leadership of the director-general, Yusuf Magaji Bichi, has witnessed a level of development and staff capacity enhancement through training and strategic partnership.
Dr Peter Afunanya, the DSS spokesperson, said staff welfare is fundamental to his management style and he does not accept irregularities as norms. This manifests in his operational plans and intelligence collection designs.
On assumption of duty as DG, he gave effect to the numerous restructuring of the service- ranking, allowances and salaries.
Afunanya said staff welfare and motivation, collaborative and strategic engagements with sister agencies and stakeholders are on the rise.
To address lingering staff accommodation challenges, Bichi has not only embarked on acquisition and construction of new structures but has engaged in extensive renovation of dilapidated service property cross the states.
They include: newly acquired accommodation for directors; newly acquired 20 units of two bedroom staff accommodation in Abuja; newly constructed 96 units of two bedroom staff accommodation in Abuja; and the newly constructed seven units of two bedroom; 20 units of one room self-contain staff accommodation in Abuja; and the renovated accommodation and facilities in Abuja.
He has also attracted projects from strategic stakeholders including the NNPC sponsored State of the Art Health facilities at the Service’s Medical Centre, VGC; and the construction of the DSS Museum of National Security by Lubrik Construction Company (LCC) as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR).
In keeping faith with career advancement and for professional knowledge the DGSS has sponsored local and international training programmes for personnel to enhance their capacity to surmount emerging threats.
To ensure training and capacity development of personnel remained unimpeded even by restrictions on travel and gathering occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic arrangement were put in place for personnel to participate in online trainings, webinars and workshops organised by its partners including the United Nations Office on Europe (CoE), INTERPOL, among others.
A guest columnist, Abimbola Adelakun, once took a swipe at the DSS, stating that: “Nobody in Nigeria today associates the DSS with intelligence-gathering, stealthy and efficient operations, and the promotion of national security.”
However, Afunanya said the service was primarily charged with the detection and prevention, within Nigeria, any crime against the internal security of the country.
The service was also saddled with the role of protection and preservation of all non-military classified matters and such other responsibilities affecting internal security or as may be directed by appropriate authorities.