The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has denied allegations that its proposed new chairman Abdulrasheed Bawa was involved in corrupt practices.

Hours after President Muhammadu Buhari nominated him as EFCC chairman on Tuesday, reports emerged he was arrested and removed from his position as Port Harcourt zonal head of the commission for allegedly diverting 224 forfeited trucks.

However, EFCC spokesman Wilson Uwujaren said in a statement: “The commission wishes to state categorically that Mr Bawa was never arrested or detained over sale of any assets.

“As zonal head of the Port Harcourt office of the commission in 2019, Bawa’s responsibilities did not include the sale of assets as the commission has a full-fledged Directorate of Assets Forfeiture and Recovery Management, which remit such matters.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the disposal of finally forfeited trucks in the Port Harcourt zonal office through public auction, was conducted after the exit of Bawa as zonal head. It is therefore illogical for him to have been indicted over an auction that was not superintended by him.

“The auction of trucks at the Port Harcourt Office was among the issues examined by the Justice Ayo Salami Panel, leading to the suspension of some officers of the commission. The commission, therefore, enjoins the public to disregard the false publication which is believed to be sponsored by mischief makers to impugn the integrity of the EFCC chairman-designate.”

The diversion of 224 forfeited trucks was one of the allegations levelled against the embattled EFCC chairman Ibrahim Magu.

Bawa reportedly appeared before the panel probing Mr Magu but denied involvement in the auction of the assets, saying it was supervised by a different department.