Ag. Chairman of The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, has revealed that no person involved in money laundering and other corrupt practices at the detriment of the public will go scot free. He further said that the Commission will leave no stone unturned in the effort to retrieve public funds that have been stolen in the name of arms purchase in Nigeria.
Magu, while addressing the commemoration of the international Anti-corruption Day themed ‘‘Break the Corruption Chain’’ on Wednesday, December 9 at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja, stated that the Commission was on top of the investigation that is currently on and that all the people who are guilty in the arms procurement fraud would face the law.
According to him,
Corruption is like a chain whose effect impacts various aspects of the society, undermines democracy and the rule of law, distorts markets, erodes quality of life, leads to human rights violations and fans the embers of terrorism and other threats to human security.’’
He stated that the Commission is determined to eradicate corruption evenhandedly by doing so in an accountable, straightforward and open manner, and that the Commission had so far probed up to 1,881 cases just in 2015.
Our common resolve is far stronger than the challenges we face in the fight against corruption. I call on you to embrace the EFCC’s public enlightenment campaigns, the activities of our Zero Tolerance Clubs in tertiary institutions and our inter-faith initiatives because, in this effort to break the corruption chain, no man is an island and only when we work together can we make a difference.’’
Out of this figure, 280 cases were filed in courts and 78 convictions were secured. In this period also, eight interim and two final forfeiture orders were handed down by various courts on applications brought by the Commission”.
Mugu went on to talk about internal corruption saying that he had introduced a machinery to sanitize the Commission internally. He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for granting a workable condition for the Commission to do that which it is meant for, adding that he would put in place institutional reforms to raise the Commission’s ability to battle and root out corruption. On the same note, the EFCC boss urged civil service organizations and everybody to work with the commission to fight against corruption jointly.
Lilian Ekeanyanwu, who represented the Technical Unit on Governance and Anti-Corruption Reforms, TUGAR, also asked the anti-corruption community to make good use of the positive body language coming from the present administration.
According to her,
We must hit the ground running. We must have a national strategy to bring awareness about the issue of corruption and find methods to curb the malaise while keeping the populace involved,”.
The Deputy Chief Mission of the United States Embassy, Maria E. Brewer, commented that corruption could dent the effectiveness of institutions and make development of any nation very slow, and that United States was ready to help Nigeria battle corruption.
This year’s anti-corruption day was organized by the Inter-Agency Task Team (IATT), the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). It holds on December 9, every year.
Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon also lectured about corruption, saying that it had harmful effects on development when funds meant to be used for social amenities delivery are diverted by public office holders for their own use.
Ban Ki-moon, who was represented on the occasion, further said that corruption could exacerbate into violence and insecurity.
It is time to deliver a clear message around the world that rejects corruption and embraces the principles of transparency, accountability, and good governance. This will benefit communities and countries, and it will help to usher in a better future for all,’’ he added.
The Director-General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms, BPSR, Dr. Joe Abah, asked for the enhancement of the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB. He also stated that the newly introduced zero-based budgeting would ensure discipline in the implementation of budgets.