PROFILE: ‘Owerri Boy’ FBI, World Bank, UN Trained Anti-Money Laundering Specialist Now Head Of EFCC

For the first time in the history of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), a non-police officer who is a specialist in financial crimes has been appointed to head it.

Forty-year-old Abdulrasheed Bawa now has the opportunity to take the EFCC to the top and show the world that Nigeria would no longer be haven for financial and cyber criminals. He appears ready for it and has the training for it.

Bawa is fondly called an “Owerri Boy” because he had his high school education at the Government Secondary School, Owerri, Imo State where he graduated in 1997.

He went on to secure a first degree in Economics from the Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto, graduating with a second class upper credit, and following it up with a Masters in International Affairs and Diplomacy from the same institution.  Bawa subsequently found himself in the world of detectives and financial investigators when he joined the EFCC in 2004.

He joined as an Assistant Detective Superintendent but went on to acquire relevant professional trainings, including from elite global institutions such as the Federal Bureau of Investigations(FBI), the World Bank, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes, Global Training Consulting, London United Kingdom and the EFCC Training and Research Institute, among others.

He is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS), a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), a Criminal Intelligence Analyst and a Forensic Scientist, among several other professional qualifications.

His competence and diligence quickly pushed him to the top of his career, and he became the go-to man for important EFCC investigations and assignments.

He supervised the biggest operations zonal office of the EFCC in Lagos, having 604 officers and men and securing 227 convictions despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

Before heading to Lagos, he supervised the investigation of all cases in Port Harcourt Zonal office in which an unprecedented 215 convictions were secured in eleven months. He also secured Final Forfeiture of hundreds of properties to the Federal Government.

At the Ibadan Zonal Office, he supervised all cases and concluded 113, out of which 54 are charged to court within a period of 6 Months.

He also headed the Diezani Allison-Madueke investigation since 2015 and recovered millions of Dollars’ worth of properties in Nigeria, U.K., U.S.A, U.A.E  and  92  in Nigeria.

Other high profile cases he handled included the Atlantic Energy Group-2014-2015, Crude Oil Swaps and OPA-2014-2015, and the Petroluem Subsidy Fraud-2012-2015 where he identified fraud of about N70 billion and recovered billions.

Bawa became a Deputy Chief Detective Superindent since 2016, a position he held until his appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday as head of EFCC. Bawa is from Kebbi State.