EFCC fingers private interests after reported Bawa, Tunde Ayeni ‘secret trip’

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has dismissed reports linking its chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa and one other in a foreign meeting.

It was alleged that Bawa and former chairman of the defunct Skye Bank (now Polaris) Tunde Ayeni, are travelling abroad secretly for a self-serving mission.

The anti-graft commission said the “absolutely false story” vainly tries to push a certain malodorous agenda.

A statement at the weekend noted that there was never a meeting and no plan between the EFCC chair and Ayeni to go anywhere together.

It said though Bawa is on an approved trip overseas, “Ayeni, whom the fiction-turned-news story says is on a clandestine trip with Mr. Bawa, is, from checks, right here in Nigeria”.

The EFCC said if the plot is to get it to compromise its mandate to investigate and prosecute cases of economic and financial crimes, the purveyors have failed.

The commission vowed to be guided only by its Standard Operating Procedure and will not be blackmailed or act in any way predetermined or teleguided by private interests.

During the tenure of Ibrahim Magu, the EFCC March 7, 2019 arraigned Ayeni, ex-Skye Bank MD Timothy Oguntayo and two companies before Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of a Federal High Court, Abuja.

They faced charges bordering on money laundering to the tune of N25.4 billion, as well as allegations of diverting depositors’ funds to personal use.

In January 2020, lawyers informed Justice Ojukwu that the defendants were negotiating an out-of-court settlement.

In July 2022, the EFCC reportedly dropped the case against Ayeni and Oguntayo after they allegedly entered into an agreement that involved the forfeiture of N15 billion in cash and assets.

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