The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has debunked an allegation by the embattled Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Makurdi Branch, Mr. Justin Gbagir that EFCC Chairman, Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa boasted that he would use his purported leverage with the judiciary to torpedo any lawsuit by the NBA chieftain.

According to a statement by the commission, “At no time during the encounter was there reference to judges and their soft spot or the lack of it, for the EFCC boss and the Commission.”

It is recalled that CITY LAWYER had reported that Bawa met recently with Gbagir to explore an amicable resolution of the furore that arose after the NBA chieftain was allegedly battered by EFCC operatives at their Makurdi Office.

Giving an update on the meeting, Gbagir, in a statement he made available to CITY LAWYER, stated that Bawa said “That the operatives have also written their statement denying my allegations that I was assaulted and even if we decide to go to court, it will be our words against theirs. In any case, he has good working relationship with judges.” The allegation was highlighted by a news blog (not CITY LAWYER).

The full statement by the EFCC is below.

Judges: Makurdi NBA Chairman’s Statement Against EFCC, Not True
The attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has been drawn to a report captioned: Even If you Go to Court… I have a Good Working relationship with Judges, attributed to the Benue Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Justin Gbagir and which was published in the online media on Monday August 9, 2021.

The Commission wishes to state that the comment ascribed to the Executive Chairman, Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa, is patently false and should be discountenanced.

It is regrettable that a compassionate gesture by the Executive Chairman in meeting with Gbagir over an alleged incident involving him and some officers of the Makurdi Zonal Command of the Commission has degenerated into a weapon of blackmail.

As a responsible leader, one with a disdain for injustice of any kind, Mr. Bawa met Gbagir to give him fair hearing and explore avenues to address his complaints, where they were meritorious. At no time during the encounter was there reference to judges and their soft spot or the lack of it, for the EFCC boss and the Commission.

As a law enforcement officer with over 16 years cognate experience before assuming the office of the Executive Chairman, Mr. Bawa is conversant with the impartiality and independence of the judiciary and could not have made the flippant statement ascribed to him.

To have invented such a remark and ascribed it to the EFCC chair is not only disingenuous but grossly irresponsible.

Media & Publicity
13 August, 2021

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