Nigerian president names new anti-graft chief

The presidency named Abdulrasheed Bawa as chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

FILE: Muhammadu Buhari, the President of Nigeria, sits at the Shehu of Borno's palace in Maiduguri on 12 February 12, 2020. Picture: AFP.

ABUJA - Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday named a new chief of the country's anti-corruption agency, after his predecessor was fired over allegations of fraud including misuse of seized assets.

Buhari, a former general, was first elected in 2015 promising to clean up Nigerian politics and make fighting corruption in Africa's largest economy one of his main targets.

The presidency named Abdulrasheed Bawa as chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Buhari's spokesman Femi Adesina said in a statement.

Bawa, 40, is experienced in investigating and prosecuting fraud cases, official corruption, bank fraud, money laundering, and other economic crimes, the statement said.

Buhari last year suspended the former head of the anti-graft body, Ibrahim Magu, over allegations of ethics breaches, including the sale of seized assets.

Magu, a former police official, was appointed in 2016 as a key figure in Buhari's anti-corruption campaigns.

The EFCC was set up in 2003 after pressure from an international watchdog that named Nigeria as one of the countries failing to cooperate in the global fight against money laundering.

But critics have in the past accused Nigeria's ruling elites of using the country's anti-graft agency as a political tool to target enemies.

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