Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, yesterday, collapsed while delivering a goodwill message at the 3rd National Identity Day, at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The anti-graft agency boss, had at the beginning of his speech, announced that he just lost someone in Ibadan and was recounting a story of how members of his agency apprehended a man with over 160 Sim cards in the State when he suddenly went blank for a few minutes.
He then put his palm over his face and began to say, ‘I can’t do this now” while leaving the podium. He began to move to his seat but, unfortunately, slumped before getting there.
Bawa was immediately rushed out by some security personnel and government officials at the event, including the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami; Acting board Chairman, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Bello Gwandu; and Director General of NIMC, Aliyu Abubakar Aziz, among others.
The atmosphere of the event was overtaken by tension and chaos, as security operatives began forcing cameramen to shut down their cameras and delete photos.
A frenzy occurred between one of the cameramen who was identified to work for a national television and the operatives for refusing to delete his photos. The security operatives eventually confiscated his camera.
Thereafter, the minister returned to announce that the EFCC chairman had been stabilised, suggesting that he may have been overwhelmed by the stress of public service.
Meanwhile, the anti-graft agency has released a statement, insisting that Bawa is hale and hearty.
It said the clarification became necessary, following the incident at the Presidential Villa.
“He has since received medical attention and is due back at his desk,” a statement signed by the spokesman of EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, read.