EFCC chairman demanded $2m bribe from me – Matawalle

~ We won’t join issues with a drowning suspect – EFCC

Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State has accused the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, of demanding $2 million bribe from him.

But in a swift riposte, the commission through its spokesman, Wilson Uwajaren said it will not join issues with a drowning suspect.

In a statement on Wednesday, Matawalle called for Bawa’s resignation, saying he had questions to answer on corruption.

But the EFCC Chairman responded that he had nothing to hide and asked Matawalle to petition appropriate authorities if he had any evidence against him.

In an interview with BBC Hausa, Matawalle insisted that Bawa could not be trusted.

“It is not just to always blame governors. It is not only governors who have treasury, the federal government also has. What does the EFCC boss do to them? As he is claiming he has evidence on governors, let him show to the world evidence of those at the federal level.

“If he exits office, people will surely know he is not an honest person. I have evidence against him. Let him vacate office, I am telling you within 10 seconds probably more than 200 people will bring evidences of bribe he collected from them. He knows what he requested from me but I declined.

“He requested a bribe of $2 million from me and I have evidence of this. He knows the house we met, he invited me and told me the conditions. He told me governors were going to his office but I did not. If I don’t have evidence, I won’t say this.”

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has said it will not be drawn into a mud fight with Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State.

The commission said this while reacting to the allegation that the governor levelled against Abdulrasheed Bawa, Chairman of the anti-graft agency.

Matawalle, who has been involved in heated exchanges with the EFCC in recent times, had alleged that Bawa demanded $2 million bribe from him.

In an interview with BBC Hausa, Matawalle insisted that Bawa could not be trusted.

“If he exits office, people will surely know he is not an honest person. I have evidence against him. Let him vacate office, I am telling you within 10 seconds probably more than 200 people will bring evidences of bribe he collected from them. He knows what he requested from me but I declined.

“He requested a bribe of $2 million from me and I have evidence of this. He knows the house we met, he invited me and told me the conditions. He told me governors were going to his office but I did not. If I don’t have evidence, I won’t say this,” Matawalle had said.

But responding in a statement on Friday, Wilson Uwujaren, spokesman of the anti-graft agency, likened Matawalle to a drowning man.

He said the agency could not be involved in an argument with a suspect and dared Matawalle to “go ahead and spill the beans”.

“”The attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has been drawn to a trending interview granted to the Hausa Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC, by Bello Muhammed Matawalle, governor of Zamfara State, where he allegedly made wild bribery allegations against the Executive Chairman of the Commission, Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa.”

“Matawalle’s recourse to mudslinging is symptomatic of a drowning man clutching at straws. But despite the irritation of his phantom claims, the Commission will not be drawn into a mud fight with a suspect under its investigation for corruption and unconscionable pillage of the resources of his state. If Matawalle will be taken seriously, he should go beyond sabre-rattling by spilling the beans – provide concrete evidence as proof of his allegations.

“Again, the Commission wishes to alert the public about plans by some of the alleged corrupt politically exposed persons to flee the country ahead of May 29. The Commission is working in close collaboration with its international partners to frustrate these escape plans and bring those involved to justice.”

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