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Nigeria's president suspends anti-graft boss

June 15, 2023

Nigeria's domestic security services questioned the head of the economic and financial crimes unit head, Abdulrasheed Bawa, following his suspension.

Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, speaks after taking an oath of office in May
Tinubu, who came to power at the end of last month following a highly contested February presidential election, promised reforms to help Africa's largest economyImage: Sunday Aghaeze/Nigeria State House via AP/picture alliance

The head of Nigeria's anti-graft agency was questioned by security agents shortly after he was suspended for abuse of office by the country's new president, Bola Tinubu.

The country's domestic security and intelligence agency, the Department of State Services (DSS), said Abdulrasheed Bawa was "invited" to address "investigative activities concerning him."

Bawa's suspension, on Wednesday, came a week after President Tinubu suspended the country's central bank governor Godwin Emefiele.

Agency tackles Nigeria's financial crimes

Two years ago, Bawa was appointed chairman of Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to lead the fight against endemic corruption. His predecessor was ousted for alleged corruption.

The EFCC investigates and prosecutes money laundering, graft and other financial crimes, such as internet scams.

The presidency said Bawa's suspension followed "weighty allegations of abuse of office leveled against him," without elaborating on the charges.

In his role as the head of the commission, Bawa had found himself in the crosshairs of corruption allegations before.

He fervently denied any misconduct, often stating that "corruption is fighting back."

Nigeria remains among the lowest ranked on Transparency International's widely watched corruption perception index.

lo/fb (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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