The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, on Tuesday, explained why its Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, did not obey a court order that committed him to prison for contempt.
The Head, Media and Publicity, EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, who spoke to the press in Abuja, said the Commission believed it was denied fair hearing and that as a law abiding institution, the EFCC had approached the appellate court, for a stay of execution.
He did not say whether the stay of execution had been granted to forestall the order for the arrest of Bawa by the Inspector-General of Police.
Uwujaren, however, alleged that the protests by over 100 anti-corruption Civil Society Organisations, which entered the third day on Monday, was sponsored against the EFCC chairman to discredit his person.
“The group, through press conferences and staged street protests, have been calling for the sack of the EFCC Chairman for alleged disobedience of court orders. They claim they are motivated by the need to strengthen the fight against corruption.
“Contrary to these claims, the EFCC wishes to alert the public that this group have no interest in the fight against Corruption and their allusion to disobedience of court orders by the EFCC chairman is an alibi to manipulate facts around judicial pronouncements and processes to pitch the public against the Commission,” he said.
He alleged that information available to the Commission indicated that the group was being sponsored by persons under investigation by the Commission and had been mobilized and mandated by their paymaster to embarrass the person of the chairman through choreographed street protests across the country, until he is removed from office.
The EFCC appealed to the public to disregard the campaign by this group as they do not represent the genuine interest of millions of Nigerians who are desirous of seeing progress in the fight against Corruption.
“It is also important to reassure Nigerians and all stakeholders that the Commission has never, and will not take any steps to undermine the judiciary. As a law abiding institution, EFCC has conducted all its activities within the ambit of the law. Where judicial decisions were made against it, it has never resorted to self-help but availed itself of remedies under the law as it did in the instant case of committal orders of court,” the EFCC stated.