Protests erupted today as citizens took to the streets to demand the sack of the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa.
The demonstrations were organized by the Coalition of Anti-Corruption Organizations, which is made up of several civil society groups who are demanding an end to continued homebreaks, court contempts and illegal arrests carried out by the EFCC.
In the videos seen by the media, the protesters could be heard chanting “End Corruption Now” and “Bawa Must Go”. The demonstrators also carried placards with inscriptions like “No More Homebreaks”, “Stop Illegal Arrests”, and “EFCC Must Respect the Rule of Law”.
The Coalition of Anti-Corruption Organizations, in a statement released to the press, said that the current leadership of the EFCC has become a source of embarrassment to the country and has done more harm than good in the fight against corruption. The statement read in part: “Under the leadership of Abdulrasheed Bawa, the EFCC has become notorious for breaking into homes without a warrant and arresting people without due process. The EFCC boss has also become notable for disregarding court rulings on several accounts. Recall that the court of law had demanded the EFCC boss’s arrest two occasions between 2022 and 2023. “This is unacceptable and goes against the principles of the rule of law”, the protesters said.
The protests, which took place in Abuja were peaceful and were monitored by security agents.
The Nigerian government has yet to respond to the demands of the protesters, but the Coalition of Anti-Corruption Organizations has warned that they will escalate their actions if the government does not take swift action to address their grievances.
The EFCC, established in 2003, is a federal law enforcement agency responsible for investigating financial crimes, including money laundering, fraud, and corruption. The commission’s current leadership has been widely criticized for its lack of transparency and for violating the rights of citizens.
This latest round of protests is a reflection of growing frustration among Nigerians with the continued corruption and abuse of power within the country’s law enforcement agencies. The demonstrators are calling on the government to take immediate action to address these issues and restore the integrity of the EFCC.