The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has described as a hoax allegations by the governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle, that the chairman of the commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, had demanded $2million bribe from him.
On Thursday, the anti-graft agency revealed that Mr Matawalle is being investigated for allegedly diverting over N70 billion state funds.
But speaking during an interview with the BBC Hausa on Friday, Mr Matawalle denied embezzling the state funds.
“All the allegations against me are blatant lies. He (Bawa) requested a $2 million bribe from me and I refused him, I have my witnesses,” Mr Matawalle said in the interview.
But the EFCC in a statement by Wilson Uwujaren, dismissed Mr Matawalle’s allegations, saying the commission would not be dragged into fight with a suspect under investigation.
“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,” the statement said.