IDRIS AHMED, LOKOJA.
Several anti corruption groups in Nigeria have aligned with the position of Dr Olisa Agbakoba (SAN) regarding the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) biased and selective investigation of Kogi state government.
Following the recent EFCC’s action against Kogi state government, the former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President, Dr Olisa Agbakoba faulted the investigation as the Commission has no power to pry into financial transactions of states.
Also barring their minds, about 10 anti corruption activist groups described the EFCC action as politically motivated
The frontline anti corruption activists in a signed statement, gave support to the position of Dr Olisa Agbakoba, SAN, against what they described as politicisation of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
According to them, the Commission’s recent actions, especially against the Kogi State Government, portray it as a “compromised political tool”.
The activists, who are leaders of various frontline anti-corruption organisations, including Centre for Anti-corruption and Open Leadership, Centre for Public Accountability,
Others are Coalition Against Corruption and Bad Governance Africa Labour Research Centre, and Secure world and Liberty Initiative for Peace.
They specifically called on President Muhammadu Buhari to call the EFCC to order and move to save the image of the Government as regards its commitment to an unbiased war against corruption.
The anti corruption crusaders described action of the Commission as an unending persecution of the Kogi State Government, pointing out that the EFCC’s job was not tidy as it had given a loud impression that there was a political axe to grind with the State beyond it’s mandate .
Those who signed the statement on behalf of their various organisations include: Executive Chairman, Centre For Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, Debo Adeniran; Chairman, Secure world and Liberty Initiative for Peace and Co-National
Spokesperson of the Coalition of United Political Parties, Comrade Mark Adebayo;
Others include, Executive Director, Africa Labour Research Centre, Biodun Sowunmi; Executive Director, Centre For Public Accountability, Comrade Olufemi Lawson, and a legal practitioner, Barr. Emeka Igwe.
Others who also signed are: Comrade Toyin Raheem, Chairman, Coalition Against Corruption and Bad Governance, CACOBAG; Comrade Akinbiyi Omoleye, Secretary, Zero Corruption Movement, ZECOM; and Comrade Ishola Adeshina, Kill Corruption Coalition, among others.
The statement, jointly signed by them and titled, “EFCC Must Stop Acting Like a Compromised Political Tool”, insisted that there were numerous instances where the Commission had shown itself to be outrageously selective in its investigations, arrests and prosecutions.
They said, “We unequivocally stand with Dr. Olisa Agbakoba, SAN, in his observations and call on the EFCC to review its operational methods in a way that will not compromise its founding principle.
“It must eschew every manner of political patronage and manipulation, which are bound to destroy its public perception locally and internationally. The Kogi issue that Dr. Agbakoba, SAN, alluded to is one case too many.
“There is a strong suspicion that EFCC has a particular interest to cause chaos in Kogi State by its unnecessary and reprehensible fixation on the state and its affairs.”
“We call on the EFCC to shed its political toga and concentrate on its constitutional mandate of fighting corruption and leave politics to politicians.