A Man on a Mission

With his appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, on February 16, 2021, and confirmation on February 24, 2021, Abdulrasheed Bawa becomes the fourth Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

His ascent to the exalted office holds much significance. First, he is the youngest, so far, to occupy the office. Second, he is the first core EFCC personnel to have the privilege to mount the saddle. Others before him were either serving or retired Police Officers.

Bawa’s emergence as EFCC boss is not fortuitous. Those who had some niggles, particularly owing to his frame, age and youthful looks, when President Muhammadu Buhari sent his name to the Senate for confirmation as the EFCC Chairman-designate, were pleasantly shocked when he eventually appeared for his screening at the National Assembly.

It was evident during the grueling session, which lasted over two hours that Bawa might have been misjudged, as he mesmerized the Senators nay Nigerians with his brilliance.

What the world is now getting to know about Bawa, is the product of sound academic preparation, diligence and prodigious appetite for knowledge. The EFCC Chairman received his education at the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto where he earned a Second Class Honours (Upper Division) bachelor’s degree in Economics and a Master’s degree in International Affairs and Diplomacy.

He was recruited into the EFCC in 2004 as a member of the Cadet Officer Course 1, and trained at the Nigeria Police College Ikeja, Lagos

His career trajectory in the last 16 years has been remarkable, if not illustrious. From his humble beginning, working in various sections of the Operations Department in the Lagos Zonal Office, he was appointed Head, Team L, of the Advance Fee Fraud Section, Lagos Zonal Office in May 2008. The appointment, no doubt, was significant as he became the first regular Detective to be appointed a Team Lead in the annals of the Commission.

He would later be appointed to some other key positions, including Head of the Ibadan, Port Harcourt and most recently, Lagos Zonal Offices. Bawa has the personal distinction of being the only regular Operative to head three zonal offices of the Commission.

A thoroughbred Detective, Bawa was trained in a number of world class institutions including the US Federal Bureau Investigations, FBI; the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency, NCA; The United Nations Office On Drugs and Crime, UNODC; the World Bank, the United States Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, FinCEN; KPMG, the State Security Service, SSS, among others.

A certified fraud examiner, his investigative skills have come handy in cracking some of the complex cases ever handled by the Commission. Bawa was the lead investigator of the multi-billion naira oil subsidy fraud between 2012 and 2015, including the N1.4billion oil subsidy fraud for which Abubakar Ali Peters and his company, Nadabo Energy are currently being prosecuted at a Lagos State High Court.

He equally helped to crack several petroleum sector fraud under a former minister of petroleum resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, currently under prosecution at the Federal High Court of Nigeria.

These cases led to the recovery of huge assets for the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Beyond his command abilities, Bawa’s expertise has also been brought to bear in a number of committee assignments. These include Committee on Authorship of Handbook of Best Practices and Standard Operating Procedures for Investigations and Prosecutions of Economics Crimes, 2017; Committee on Amendment of EFCC ( Establishment) Act, 2014; Secretary , Committee on Modification of EFCC Declaration of Assets Form 2012; Presidential Investigation Committee on Crude Oil Theft, 2014 and Special Team on Investigation of Tax Evasion and Other Related Matters ( Airlines and Hotel Operators, in which billions of Naira were recovered between 2009 and 2010).

The highly decorated Officer is a member of several professional bodies, including the America-based Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) of which he is a certified fraud examiner and Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist, ACAMS), as certified anti-money laundering specialist.

He is married with children.