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EFCC and 2019 General Election

The setting up of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) by former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration in December 2002 through an Act of the National Assembly is a step in the right direction.
  The commission which began operation in April, 2003, when its Board was inaugurated, was charged with the responsibility to investigate all financial crimes such as Advance Fee Fraud (otherwise known as 419), Money Fraud, counterfeiting, Illegal Cash Transfers, futures Market Fraud, Fraudulent Encashment or Fraudulent Diversion of Funds, Contract Scam, Forgery of Financial Instruments, Insurance of Dud Cheque and others.
   The commission is also saddled with the task to coordinate and enforce all economic and financial crimes law; enforcement functions conferred on any other person or authority. Also, it is to  adopt measures to identify, freeze, confiscate or seize proceeds derived from terrorist activities, economic and financial crimes related offences or the properties, the value of which correspond to such proceed.
   The commission is also empowered to adopt measures to eradicate and prevent the commission of economic and financial crimes with a view to identifying individuals, corporate bodies or group involved. It is to facilitate rapid exchange of scientific and technical information and the conduct of operations geared towards the eradication of economic and financial crimes.
   In addition, it is empower to determine the extent of financial loss and such other losses by government, private individual or organizations. The commission is                                                               to collaborate with government bodies within and outside Nigeria in carrying out its functions wholly or in part analogous with those of the commission.
   Indeed, the establishment of the commission is laudable in the sense that corruption as a global malaise has been a great impediment to economic development. The under development of the country especially the states in the oil rich Niger Delta region has been traceable to corrupt and inept leadership who squandered the resources meant for the development of the sub-region, most particularly diverted for private use at the expenses of the poor citizens who are looking for even a morsel of food to eat, but they remain mendacious through media propaganda.
   Through corruption these set of leaders do not have the interest of the people at heart but were more concerned with embezzling state’s funds for their personal priority projects leaving the poor masses in squalor, misery, abject poverty and untold hardship.
   The present suffering posed to Nigerians would have been averted to attain some level of development considering the enormous resources accrued to states, but some selfish, insensitive and criminally minded leaders usually use their positions to turn away funds meant for the states into private pockets.
   All these EFCC is seeing but could not carry out its functions. The commission is waiting only when they are no longer in office before pursuing them. This is bad and neglect of its statutory responsibilities.
   Obviously, EFCC has failed Nigerians because it is not actually carrying out its statutory duties taking into consideration of the devastating effects of corruption in Nigeria. It is sad to note that corruption had discouraged many who would be investors from coming into the country to invest. Owing to corruption, there is a resultant economic instability and the attendant business failures with accentuated unemployment and insecurity in the country.
   Apart from economic instability, corruption and other economic and financial crimes have reduced the country’s national institutions to pitiable conditions. Virtually, all states enterprises have failed due to corruption.
   However, a critical look on the enforcement of the statutory duties of EFCC by the present and preceding administrations indicate that the Anti-corruption battles is used against members of opposition political parties and those who are not in support of the policies and programmes of that administration for reasons known best to them; and for embarking on constructive criticism against the present administration’s policies. This is bad.
   During Obasanjo’s and partially Jonathan’s era the war against corruption was undoubtedly a battle against opposition or those in the same political party not in support of the policies of the number one citizen of the country. Buhari’s administration’s is not exceptional.
   Undeniably, Buhari’s administration fight against corruption is not against APC supporters comparing how EFCC is focusing the fight against those in the opposition alone. Indeed, EFCC battle against corruption is a fight against those they term as imaginary enemies. This is bad also.
If we may ask, where does APC get the money to fund its elections from State House of Assemblies, House of Representatives, House of Senate and the Presidential Elections in 2015?  Is that not corruption? Most states in the federation before the bailout fund was released for them could not pay workers salaries because all the resources accrued to the states from the Federation Account may have been siphoned to sponsor the 2015 general elections.
   It is sad and disgusting to note that since the inception of All Progressives congress (APC) ruling government led by President Muhammadu Buhari, the activities of EFCC is focus on the past Peoples Democratic Party’s administration members and political appointees.
This is contrary to the mandate of EFCC. The commission is expected to investigate all corrupt Nigerians and not only those of PDP members as being targeted by APC ruling government EFCC.
    Is EFCC telling Nigerians that there is no corrupt person in APC or is all APC supporters saint?  EFCC should henceforth stop witch hunting PDP members and others from other political parties.  The commission should eschew biased and give all corrupt Nigerians equal treatment. It should adhere strictly to the rule of law in the discharge of its statutory duties.
   Also, the commission should not see itself as above the laws of the nation. It should respect court orders not to derail democracy.
   Buhari should as a matter of fact collaborate with the National Assembly to set up independent forensic auditors to launch an investigation into disbursement of funds accruing to the nation and the states of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory between May 29, 2014 to 2018 with a focus on cash flow and a how it has been spent. Investigations should be carried out in all the states on how they spend moneys so far received within the period, as they were alleged to have turned the state’s money as personal in pursuit to personal agenda at the detriment of the masses after their elections. The federal government should as a matter of urgency embark on forensic audit on how its spends the nation’s financial resources from May 29, 2015 to May 29, 2018.
   For the battle against corruption in the country to achieve its desired goals, Buhari also, should render account to Nigerians on how much money the federal  government has so far generated within the period. The dwindling oil revenue is not the issue. But the misappropriation and mismanagement of the federal and state’s funds is the issue.
   These people spend the state money anyhow they like and EFCC like the toothless dog will be watching them to leave office before barking. EFCC should start now to bark.
    How many people has EFCC successfully convicted for corruption? It is better to abolish EFCC as it is not performing? Is EFCC free from corruption?
   Also, where is the alleged N1 Trillion diversion the senate insists on probe of EFCC? It would be recalled that a publication of The Nation, Wednesday, August 26, 2015, page 62 captioned “Alleged N1 Trillion diversion: Senate insists on probe of EFCC”.
   The publication content read thus: “The Senate said yesterday that the investigation of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Larmode over alleged diversion of N1 Trillion recovered fraud funds would begin as scheduled today”.  Has the probe take place? That is the bane of Nigeria society. It is a pity that Nigeria is a country that may be going nowhere progressively.
   Look at President Buhari who said the late military Head of State, General Sani Abacha did not loot the nation’s treasury is the same person asking the British Government to release Abacha’s loots.
   According to the Monday, June 9, 2008, Vol. 13, No.4797 edition of Thisday in its front page captioned “Abacha Never Stole, says Buhari, Babangida.”
The publication alleged that “The late military Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, did not loot the national treasury contrary to the general impression, two military former heads of state have said.
   But General Muhammadu Buhari, who ruled Nigeria between 1983 and 1985, and his successor, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida gave Abacha the clean bill in Kano yesterday after the remembrance prayers marking 10 years of the death of Abacha, who ruled between 1993 and 1998”.
   From the foregoing; Nigeria is being rule by a cabal. If EFCC will function well it should do its work independently and not to witch hunt some people and leave some people.
EFCC should strive to make public the true position of the allegation of N1 Trillion of money allegedly diverted by Mr. Ibrahim Larmode, former EFCC chairman and its present financial position recovered from fraudsters.
It should stop witch hunting a section of Nigerians and leave the worst corrupt people as saint under APC thereby allowing the country to deteriorate in different ways.
If EFCC will see itself as an organ under somebody, to be directed before performing its duties, then there is no need this organ should exist because the laws in the land sees every Nigerians as equal in the eyes of the law.
EFCC should henceforth stop to witch hunt Nigerians. Nigerians may see it as failed commission if it will continue with its one side battle against corruption in Nigerian.

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