SSS detains suspended EFCC chair Bawa

The suspended chairperson of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, has submitted himself for interrogation by Nigeria’s secret police, the State Security Service (SSS).

This followed an earlier “invitation” of Mr Bawa by the SSS a few hours after President Bola Tinubu suspended him on Wednesday.

“The invitation relates to some investigative activities concerning him,” Peter Afunanya, the Public Relations Officer of SSS, said in a statement.

The SSS’ statement, which was tweeted via the agency’s Twitter handle at 10.48 pm on Wednesday, said Mr Bawa “arrived for interrogation a few hours ago.”

Mr Bawa presumably honoured the invitation at the SSS headquarters in Abuja from where Mr Afunaya issued his statement on Wednesday.

It came about two weeks after a confrontation between SSS and EFCC over their shared building in Lagos.

SSS operatives blocked EFCC staff members from resuming work in the building in the hours-long stand-off on 30 May.

It took the directive of President Tinubu, who was barely a day old as president, for SSS operatives to allow EFCC staff to access the building.

Earlier on Wednesday, the office of the Secretary to the Government of Federation (SGF) had said in a statement signed by Willie Bassey, Director of Information, said the EFCC boss’ suspension resulted from “weighty allegations of abuse of office levelled against him.”

Without giving details of the allegations against Mr Bawa, the statement said the anti-graft official needed to step aside “to allow for proper investigation into his conduct while in office.”

According to the statement, Mr Bawa has been directed to “immediately hand over the affairs of his office to the Director, Operations in the Commission, who will oversee the affairs of the office of the Chairman of the Commission pending the conclusion of the investigation.”

The specific allegations that Mr Bawa is being investigated cannot be confirmed yet.

Last month, the immediate-past governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle, accused Mr Bawa of demanding $2 million as a bribe from him.

But the EFCC denied Mr Matawalle’s allegation.

The anti-corruption agency in May revealed that Mr Matawalle was being investigated by it for a N70 billion fraud.

Leadership succession at the EFCC since its inception in 2003 has always been steeped in controversies.

In 2021, Mr Bawa took the helm at the commission under similar circumstances after his predecessor, Ibrahim Magu, was suspended from office by then-President Muhammadu Buhari, over allegations of corruption.

Mr Bawa became the second major appointee of former President Muhammadu Buhari to be suspended by Mr Tinubu.

Read SSS full statement on Mr Bawa’s detention below


The Department of State Services (DSS) has invited Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa, the suspended Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Bawa arrived a few hours ago.

The invitation relates to some investigative activities concerning him.

Peter Afunanya Ph.D, fsi
Public Relations Officer
Department of State Services
National Headquarters
14th June, 2023