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Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa

Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa, has confirmed that the Anti-Graft agency is critically looking at every petition directed against top Nigerian politicians.

This is even as he said the Petitions Vetting Desk/Committee of EFCC, made up of experienced officers from the Legal Department as well as those trained to investigate such petitions are currently reviewing these petitions to see whether they have merits that will warrant prosecution.

Bawa made this revelation while answering questions from State House Correspondents at the 62nd Session of the State House Briefing organised by the Presidential Media Team at Presidential Villa Abuja on Thursday.

According to him the EFCC is working on every petition directed to it to establish the veracity of such petition, adding that the agency which he leads is out to work for the interest of Nigerians and is determined to carry out its duties without fear or favour.

Asked if EFCC has received any petition against any of the 18 presidential candidates angling to succeed President Buhari, Bawa said:

“On the question if we received petitions against top politicians contesting for office. My question is at this hour do you want to start inviting all the presidential candidates to come and make statements? The same media will say it’s politically motivated.

“So we are not, we are not, aah, we are working behind the scene in all the petitions we received to see those that have merits, so that’s why we are not politicizing it.

“And that’s why we have what we call Petitions Vetting Desk/Committee made up of experienced officers from the Legal Department as well as those trained to investigate that will review these petitions to see whether they are in line with our own mandate before they will recommend whether they will be prosecuted by the EFCC.

“We have benchmark for it that we can follow, that guides us, you know, in terms of accepting or rejecting petitions, you know, as we also have a criteria which have even been publicised to guide petitioners on the requirements to make a petition to have merit.

“Hope this question is not politically motivated?”.

During the briefing, the EFCC Chairman provided updates and strides being made by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Administration in the core area of anti-corruption, as well as the innovations that have been introduced by the Commission to curb financial crimes and money laundering in Nigeria.