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New EFCC boss did not direct INEC to stop selling nomination forms to aspirants under investigation

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Claim: A Twitter user claims that Abdulrasheed Bawa, the new EFCC boss, has directed INEC not to sell forms to any aspirant who has a file with the agency.

The claim that Abdulrasheed Bawa, the new EFCC boss has directed INEC not to sell forms to any aspirant who has a file with the agency is false. No sufficient evidence backed the information and EFCC has distanced itself from the information.  

Full text

The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has been a predominant agency fighting against financial corruption  mostly perpetrated by political officeholders in Nigeria. While the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is the agency saddled with the responsibility for conducting elections and  vetting political aspirants. It is on the basis of the relationship these two agencies share, that a user on    Twitter (@idowu553) claimed that Abdulrasheed Bawa has directed INEC not to sell forms to any aspirant who has a file with the agency.

With almost 550 reactions and over 250 retweets attributed to the claim, (@adinoyi12) one of the almost 120 commenters argued that:

“Fake news….Section 36 subsection(5) of the Constitution of Nigeria, 1999 amended provides that every person who is charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed to be innocent until he/she is proved guilty by competent court of jurisdiction”

Another user  (@omoniyen) Added that “This may be fake news. Is there any judiciary  department at efcc? cos Nuhu Ribadu  did  same in 2007. All amounted to nothing and vacated by a court of competent jurisdiction.” Regardless of the prevailing views around the claim, DUBAWA seeks to uncover the reality of the information. 

Verification  

DUBAWA first  reached out to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission through its head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, via phone call, he simply clarified that the report was false. 

He said that “the Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, has not directed or advised the Independent National Electoral Commission against selling forms to persons with a file with the agency who are aspiring to contest in 2023 general elections”.

He further stressed that “the EFCC chairman neither met with INEC officials nor made any pronouncement related to the election since he was appointed. “Even more, the claimant  has failed to provide the source of the information or state exactly where and when the EFCC chairman made the statement. 

Even as newsworthy as the information appears to be,  no relevant media has  reported on it or even made suggestions around it. 

Also, according to the Section 31(1)(6) of Electoral Act 2010 as amended,  INEC cannot refuse to accept a party’s list submitted within the stipulated time neither can it disqualify any candidate. The law stipulates that only a court of law can disqualify a candidate, not EFCC. 

Conclusion

The claim that Abdulrasheed Bawa, the new EFCC boss has directed INEC not to sell forms to any aspirant who has a file with the agency is false. There is no available evidence that points to the validity of the information. 

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