The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has refuted allegation of $2 million bribe demand levelled against its chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, by Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State.
The anti-graft agency and the embattled governor have been at daggers drawn in recent weeks.
Matawalle, in an interview with BBC Hausa, alleged that Bawa demanded $2 million bribe from him.
He also insisted that Bawa was an unscrupulous character that could not be trusted.
“He requested a bribe of $2 million from me and I have evidence of this. He knows the house we met, he invited me and told me the conditions. He told me governors were going to his office but I did not. If I don’t have evidence, I won’t say this,” Matawalle had said.
But responding in a statement on Friday, Wilson Uwujaren, spokesman of the anti-graft agency, described Matawalle’s allegation as phantom.
He likened Matawalle to a drowning man and asked him to present evidence of corrupt practices and malfeasance perpetrated by the EFCC boss if he has one.
He said the agency could not be involved in an argument with a suspect and dared Matawalle to “go ahead ans spill the beans”.
“”The attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has been drawn to a trending interview granted to the Hausa Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC, by Bello Muhammed Matawalle, governor of Zamfara State, where he allegedly made wild bribery allegations against the Executive Chairman of the Commission, Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa.”
“Matawalle’s recourse to mudslinging is symptomatic of a drowning man clutching at straws. But despite the irritation of his phantom claims, the Commission will not be drawn into a mud fight with a suspect under its investigation for corruption and unconscionable pillage of the resources of his state. If Matawalle will be taken seriously, he should go beyond sabre-rattling by spilling the beans – provide concrete evidence as proof of his allegations.
“Again, the Commission wishes to alert the public about plans by some of the alleged corrupt politically exposed persons to flee the country ahead of May 29. The Commission is working in close collaboration with its international partners to frustrate these escape plans and bring those involved to justice.”