President Muhammadu Buhari has warned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against being used for partisan politics or be dragged into personal disputes.
This is as the president commended the leadership of EFCC for securing 2,220 convictions within one year and recovering over N152billion and $385million.
According to NAN, the warning was given by the president at the unveiling of EFCC’s Standard Operating Procedures, Policies and Manuals, at the State House, where he advised the Commission to focus on serving the nation and entrenching good governance.
What the President is saying
President advised leaders and all operatives of the commission to resist the temptation of being influenced by political actors for personal gains.
He said, “I must advise the leadership and operatives of this Commission to resist the temptation of being used for partisan politics or be dragged into personal disputes. Your job is to serve the nation in its efforts to entrench good governance.
“I am glad to note that the war against corruption, which is one of the cardinal objectives of this administration, is being strengthened.
“This is being done through the institutionalisation of operational procedures particularly as they form the building blocks of transparency and accountability in administration and public expenditure.’’
Buhari commended EFCC chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, for efforts to further institutionalise the commission by developing 26 Standard Operating Procedures and 25 Policies and Manuals for the Departments, Units and Staff of the Commission.
He harped on the importance of the standardization of processes within the extant laws and regulations and urged other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), especially law enforcement agencies, to ensure implementation.
President Buhari said, “I need not underscore the importance of today’s occasion but let me remind you that the stakes are high but national expectations are higher. Therefore, we must continue to strive and deal decisively with matters in accordance with the rule of law.’’
He said government would continue to accord all necessary support to MDAs in order to ensure the sustainability of the initiatives already commenced in actualising the vision of a corruption-free society.
Buhari also pointed out that the development of the standards demonstrates the commitment of this administration to the fight against corruption and the acceptance of transparency and willingness to be subjected to scrutiny.
He said, “This is a confirmation of national efforts against graft. I understand from your remarks, Mr Chairman, that these are the first collection of policy documents ever developed in the eighteen years of the Commission’s existence.
“These are indeed remarkable achievements and are very commendable.
“You may recall ladies and gentlemen, that since we came into power in 2015, we have consistently demonstrated the necessary political will to fight corruption.
“We have ensured the operational independence of the anti-graft agencies, strengthened the legal framework, empowered the regulatory agencies and provided adequate funding to support the fight against corruption.’’
What you should know
- Recall that in January 2022, the EFCC had reported that it recorded 98.49 success rate in its prosecution in the fight against corruption as data reveals the Commission secured a total of 2,220 convictions in 2021.
- The EFCC is Nigeria’s major anti-corruption agency empowered to combat financial and economic crimes in the country. It was established in 2003 and its establishment Act empowers it to prevent, investigate, prosecute and penalise economic and financial crimes in Nigeria.
- Although the nature of cases for the prosecution was not disclosed, the agency, however, stated that it won 2,220 cases in the year ended 2021 and lost 34 cases.