13th September, 2012
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has accused the President Goodluck Jonathan administration of being unwilling to fight corruption with the same intensity the Federal Government did when Mr. Nuhu Ribadu was the commission’s Chairman and Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was the head of state.
A principal Detective Superintendent at EFCC, Mr. Paschal Joseph Samu, disclosed that there is ‘no political will’ from the Jonathan administration to fight corruption at the moment.
He was representing the Commission’s Chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, at the first Annual General Convention of the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL, in Lagos State, southwest Nigeria, on Wednesday. And he expressed a personal opinion.
Responding to a question by Primate Olapade Agoro over why the EFCC is no longer vibrant the way it was when Nuhu Ribadu was in charge, the EFCC insider said:
“You see, the Ribadu regime was highly supported by the leader of the country as of then. There was political will on the part of the government to fight corruption and the Chairman as of then was also in the spirit to do so, that is why we heard a lot about EFCC performances at that time.
“Presently, why you are not hearing anything about the EFCC, maybe it is because, there is no political will on the part of the government.
“And the Economic and Financial Crimes investigates cases and when these cases are investigated, they are sent to the courts that prosecute them. We are not the court. We are only investigators. We find facts and these facts are sent to the appropriate quarters. So we cannot do both jobs. We cannot do both investigation and the trial in the court.”
Samu also blamed Nigerians of not cooperating with investigators and covering up their relatives, friends and bosses only to turn around and blame the EFCC for non performance.
“We are no magicians,” he said.
CACOL Chairman, Comrade Debo Adeniran, Lawyer Bamidele Aturu, activist Chude Achike and Primate Olapade Agoro argued that corruption is failing, bringing Nigeria down with it.
Aturu reasoned that if wisdom is the application of knowledge and Nigerians know that corruption will eventually bring the country, failure to tackle it for decades shows lack of wisdom.
He suggested a name change for corruption, saying it should be called armed robbery for it to be taken more seriously.