The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has promised to investigate government officials and prominent Nigerians whose names were mentioned in Panama Papers Scandal leak released last week.
Addressing protesters who had stormed the Abuja head office of the anti-graft agency to demand the probe of all Nigerians accused of operating offshore accounts in the notorious tax havens, the Director of Information of the EFCC, Mr. Osita Nwaja, promised that the agency will work with all other relevant bodies both within and outside the country to make sure those named in the leak are brought to book.
“These papers (Panama Papers) did not emanate from Nigeria but they touch the lives of the people of Nigeria and corruption as well as money laundering has gone beyond national borders as we are seeing from these papers.
“The EFCC is not just a Nigerian organisation. The work that we do goes beyond national borders. So, this request will be looked into along with other requests by other well-meaning Nigerians along the already charted course of Mr. President, which is zero tolerance for corruption, zero tolerance for impunity, zero tolerance for the abuse of public office and continued subjugation of the Nigerian people.”
Former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili, who also addressed protesters, said Nigeria must do as other countries are doing to investigate all those mentioned in the Panama Papers Scandal as that is what responsive governance is all about.
“I want to add my voice to the voices of the members of civil society groups who are demanding that action be immediately taken by our government in initiating a process for further investigation into the allegations coming out of the Panama Papers leaks.
“In fact, in some of the countries, ahead of the facts being established or confirmed, some of the public officials are already resigning from their positions.
“The reason we have the EFCC is that when things like this happen globally, and other nations are taking measures to determine how it affects them, our own EFCC, our own government, our own Ministry of Justice must show responsiveness. That is what responsive governance is all about.”
The release of an offshore financial provider documents by Panama papers last week has revealed records of top secret financial dealings of over 128 politicians and public fgures, including Nigerians.
Prominent Nigerians whose names have been mentioned in the leak include Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, Senate President Bukola Saraki, immediate past Senate President, David Mark, former Delta State Governor James Ibori and former Defence Minister, Gen. Yakubu Danjuma.