EFCC and the fight against corruption

EFCC


Sir, The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC was established by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2003, with the sole aim of extirpating corruption in Nigeria. The first chairman of the commission Nuhu Ribadu, achieved a lot in terms of arresting and prosecuting corrupt government officials particularly former governors. even though, Ribadu was accused of being used by Obasanjo to achieve his personal goals.

It was alleged that former governors, family members and some influential Nigerians stole over N183 billion. Corruption was described by President Buhari as the greatest form of human violation. This description can be regarded as true in the sense that it denies human beings maximum security, good education, health, roads and many other basic needs that human beings may require in their day to day activities. All those that headed EFCC right from Nuhu Ribadu, Farida Waziri, Ibrahim Lamurde and Ibrahim Magu made a very significant number of arrests but they have not achieved anything worth celebrating because our courts are not supportive, that is why those that were arrested are still walking free.

In fact, some of them are serving in various capacities in government. Our institutions are very weak and that is why EFFC has never arrested and prosecuted any former President despite the fact that they are accused of grand corruption. For instance, personal assistant to president Buhari on social media Lauretta Onochie had accused all past Nigerian leaders of being corrupt. Why can’t we prosecute them if former Presidents of other countries of the world who were accused of corruption can be prosecuted? For example, Perez Molina of Guatemala, Jacob Zuma of South Africa, Nicola Sarkozy of France, Benigo Aquino of El Salvador, Leo Myung-bak of South Korea and Chen Shui-bian of Taiwan were all prosecuted.

We are indirectly telling the world that we are not really committed and we are not fair in fighting corruption because the international community is very much aware that our past leaders are fantastically corrupt. The issue that National Assembly ought to be discussing and debating is how to eliminate corruption and how to make the trial of corrupt cases very speedy not the useless Election sequence. It is a well known fact that they will never do that because the majority of them are having corruption cases with the EFCC.

For corruption to be extirpated, we must review our existing laws because they are very weak in terms of fighting corruption, we must bring in stiffer laws and allow it to work. Special courts must be established and the duration of the trial must be specified. INEC should not sell forms to aspirants who have corrupt cases in our court.

Nigerians in the Diaspora should embark on public and peaceful demonstration on the streets of their various countries to show the world that they are not happy with the way Nigerian authorities are handling corrupt cases. Our civil society groups must embark on public enlightenment to educate people at the local level about what is happening and they must always pressurize the government to do the needful. EFCC must be empowered to do its work free from political interference. The enemies of the Nigeria’s progress have no other place than jail.
•Hasheem Ahmad

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EFCCNuhu Ribadu
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