Abdulrasheed Bawa To Prosecute Abdulrasheed Maina

By Bala Ibrahim

Anyone familiar with President Muhammadu Buhari, should not only be unsurprised by his surprises, but be ready to understand the meaning “BUHARINOMOVES”. A term that has come to be accepted as the unpredicted outcome of President Buhari’s next move or planned action at any point in time.

Yes, even before he became PMB, as GMB, Muhammadu Buhari had made a name in springing surprises, particularly in moments of national nervousness, when the country is high in tension and pundits are busy with permutations about the next likely line of manoeuvre by the leader. He is known to surprise everyone, by arriving on a horse back, when all eyes are at the aeroplane tarmac.

In his first coming as military Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari had taken many by surprise, many times. Those with good memory may recall the famous newspaper headlines of ARCHIBONG REPLACES ARCHIBONG, when one Col. “Emmanuel Archibong I think, was substituted by Col. Dan Patrick Archibong, on his way to reporting in Calabar, as the newly appointed military Governor of Cross River State.

The substitution was necessitated by the leakage of information, which gave Col. Emmanuel Archibong advanced and advantaged information of his appointment. To make secrecy sacrosanct, and underscore the priority he attaches to the propensity of springing surprises, General Muhammadu Buhari quickly ordered a search for another Archibong, who was immediately asked to proceed to Calabar, and assume duty as the Governor. While the first Archibong was directed elsewhere. The next day, one of the headlines in the papers was, ARCHIBONG REPLACES ARCHIBONG.

Sometimes in the time of his rein as one of Nigeria’s active and proactive Heads of state also, there was the surprise of Haladu replacing Haladu, as Nigeria’s defence attaché in London. Like the Archibong’s case, the leakage of information in appointment, resulted in the springing of a surprise, that saw Gen. Balarabe Haladu replacing Gen, Haladu Hananiya on the UK defence attaché portfolio. Here also, the headline read, HALADU REPLACES HALADU. When it comes to springing surprises, Buhari’s instincts know no bounds.

In what has now come to be seen as the norm, PMB has once again taken the nation by another surprise today, this time around, by naming an Abdulrasheed Bawa to head the agency that is prosecuting an Abdulrasheed Maina.

Citing Paragraph 2(3) of Part1, CAP E1 of EFCC Act 2004, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina said, President Muhammadu Buhari has nominated Abdulrasheed Bawa as substantive chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC). The letter advanced that the President’s nomination was contained in a letter to the President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan, requesting the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly to screen and confirm Bawa for the position.

The first surprise is the direction from where the President picked the headship of the controversial anti graft agency. While many were expecting the appointment to follow the established tradition of picking from the police, Baba permitted his characteristic conduct of carrying out surprises, to play out. He shopped and picked from within the system, by appointing a young and vibrantly trained cadet detective from the agency.

The second surprise is the near coincidence of nomenclature, between the prosecuting Abdulrasheed, and another Abdulrasheed that is being prosecuted. For some times now, the EFCC, the agency Abdulrasheed Bawa is due to take over as substantive chairman, is prosecuting Abdulrasheed Maina, the former chairman of the Pension Reform Task Force, alongside the former Head of Service, Steve Oronsaye, Osarenkhoe Afe and Fredrick Hamilton B Global Services Limited, for alleged procurement fraud and obtaining by false pretence, money amounting to over 2Nb.

Maina jumped bail but was re-arrested in Niger Republic, and repatriated to Nigeria by the Interpol, under the leadership of the now AIG Garba Baba Umar. While waiting in prison custody, the same Maina had last month approached Justice Abang for another bail, and like before, saying, the application became necessary over his worsening health. Of course the EFCC had vehemently objected the move.

But while the country is awaiting the next move of the court, in his familiar style of BUHARINOMOVES, PMB has now moved with another surprise: Abdulrasheed Bawa would henceforth be the one to determine the fate of the bail application, and subsequent prosecution of his name sake, Abdulrasheed Maina.

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