EFCC And The Lost Battle Against Corruption!

Close to a decade after the inauguration of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the war against corruption in Nigeria continues to rage with the anti-graft body clearly not having the upper hand. The bulk of the blame has been put on the Federal Government for not allowing the Commission to function without undue interference.

It is believed in some quarters that most of those who should be arrested, investigated and prosecuted by the EFCC are enjoying protection from the Federal Government and people hardly get hounded by agents of the commission unless they have fallen out of favour with the Government.

The leadership of the Commission has changed a number of times but the system with which it pursues its mandate has remained the same over the years. Many had questioned the genuineness of the intention behind the commission right from its first few years as it was largely seen as a tool by the Federal Government to witch-hunt real or perceived opponents.

Though the fear of the EFCC was the beginning of wisdom in the Obasanjo years, it became obvious that the Malam Nuhu Ribadu-led commission targeted mainly those who dared to antagonize the President.

Though back then, the EFCC was seen to be working, though not without some flaws. For instance, Rotimi Amaechi faced fire when the EFCC brought up charges of financial impropriety against him just before the 2007 elections and he was dropped as the governorship candidate of his party. It was later made public that it was because the powers that be were not favourably disposed to his ambition to rule Rivers State.

Peter Odili too aspired for the PDP’s presidential ticket in 2007. It was an open secret that former President Olusegun Obasanjo used the EFCC to frustrate that ambition.

One of the beneficiaries of Obasanjo’s effective usage of the EFCC was Engineer Segun Oni, the deposed Governor of Ekiti State. Though he came third in the shadow elections, during a meeting with the three top contenders for the PDP’s ticket, the President brought out a file which he claimed was the EFCC’s dossier on Yinka Akerele who came tops at the primaries. There and then, “OBJ” in his wisdom decided that Oni should be chosen as the party’s candidate. He was immediately told to go and flag off his campaign in Ado Ekiti.

Joshua Chibi Dariye, a Governor was arrested in London with loads of money and pronto, Dariye found his way to Nigeria after being granted bail. Not long after, Nuhu Ribadu addressed the Plateau State House of Assembly and pronto, Dariye was impeached   He challenged his impeachment and was reinstated by the Court, with the verdict being upheld by the Supreme Court.

After the expiration of his tenure in May, 2007, he was arraigned at Federal High Court, Guda on a charge of stealing over N 700 million. He was granted bail and today, Dariye is a Senator of the Federal Republic!

The situation in Ekiti was somewhat similar. No one ever believed Fayose could be impeached by the House of Assembly in which he controlled the majority. On one occasion, he opened a portion of the Government House for his guests and there the House of Assembly was holding a meeting around 1 a.m.  After the arrest of some of his friends and associates over a failed poultry project, the EFCC swooped on the Ekiti State House of Assembly and after several visits to the EFCC facilities in Lagos and Abuja, the legislators were made to understand that the commission had records of the funds they collected for “constituency projects” and how the funds were “utilised” Not long after, the legislators backed down and the “vote of absolute confidence” earlier passed on the Governor gave way. He was impeached along with his deputy and his case started in court on December 17, 2006. He was accused of looting about N 1.2 billion.

So far, Lucky Igbinedion is the only former Governor who has paid back part of his loot. While facing a 191-count charge of money laundering, Igbinedion opted for a plea bargain and he paid back N 4.3 billion in a case that was determined in 2008.

To many, the EFCC was simply playing to the gallery as it continued to drag people to court and the number of convictions obtained did not show that it was indeed winning the war against graft. The case of Bode George as well as the assets forefeiture of Tafa Balogun and Dipreieye Alamieyesegha are the major achievements the commission can boast of.

Then came the blame game, the EFCC blamed the Executive for interfering in its activities through the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation. Bails have allegedly been secured for people who were arrested by the Commission through the Attorney General. And at the end of the day, the country ends up being the loser, if an agency that is funded by the Government is prevented from carrying out its functions by agents of the same government.

Internal politics also affected the quick and diligent prosecution of a lot of cases. Each time a new Chairman comes on board, there is bound to be the redeployment of officers believed to be in the structure built by the chairman’s predecessors. The transfer of a lot of investigators has reportedly done a lot to affect the cases that were handled by such officers.

The Game of Deception

In May, a report of the United States Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour on Nigeria had posited that “the law provides criminal penalties for official corruption; however, the government did not implement the law effectively, and officials frequently engaged in corrupt practices with impunity. Massive, widespread and pervasive corruption affected all levels of government and the security forces. The constitution provides immunity from civil and criminal prosecution to the President, Vice President, Governors and Deputy Governors while in office.”

The ways of the EFCC have clearly shown that there is more to the corruption war than Nigerians are being made to believe. For instance, in the case of Wale Babalakin, the Bi-Courtney Group Chairman, he was invited by the EFCC, queried and allowed to go on some conditions. And when he was to be arraigned, he took ill overnight and has been in hospital since then.

Incidentally, Babalakin was not in trouble with the EFCC until after the revocation of the concession of the Lagos-Ibadan express road which his company got some years ago. The EFCC only opened his matter after his company, Bi-Courtney decided to go to court. And when many herad that the EFCC was after Babalakin, the first thought was that it would be in connection with the road contract; maybe he would be made to face the law for failing to meet some of the terms and thereby indirectly causing unnecessary deaths and bodily harm on the road.  Alas, it was on a different matter entirely. He was charged with helping James Ibori, the former Governor of Delta State to launder money. Ibori on whose behalf the money was laundered is already in prison in the UK. The action of the EFCC has generated a lot of unanswered questions, for instance, “where on earth was the EFCC when Ibori, his wife, his mistress and even his lawyer were facing trial? When Ibori was arraigned in Nigeria, why was Babalakin not arraigned as accomplice?”

Questions are also being asked regarding how his company got a contract from the Federal Government three years after he was involved in money laundering and he was being investigated by the EFCC. Incidentally, the EFCC did not raise any objections when the contract was awarded to him back then. The book of remembrance was opened six years after and just 48 hours after the revocation of the road contract which many opined was long overdue.

The EFCC also recently came out to say it had concluded plans to declare former Kogi State Governor, Abubakar Audu wanted after he allegedly fled his Abuja home in order to evade arrest. Findings have however revealed that Audu has not left Abuja and he has not been hiding.

 

 

Author: NewsAdmin

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Kosalabaro: I am worried, very worried for Buhari and Oshibajo.

Okebadan: it's normal for an headless drunkards to be having headache because of increase in the price of the head cap in the market.

Kosalabaro: Meaning?. Some people
don't know when to close the tap of their highly infected mouth . Is it because of what I just said , you now take me to the cleaner?.

Okebadan : Ok, sorry, explain yourself because I don’t understand why some small Nigerian like you has to worry for the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Kosalabaro: I'm worried about the new appointment made by Mr President. Majority of it are from one section of the country.
To me this is sickening. The level of stupidity of some of our educated guys from the south is quite alarming. They are the ones justifying this anomaly called competency of the North over the south in the selection of people to public offices. May God deliver them from their stupidity...Amen

Okebadan: Calm down brother, Nigerians are people who fall out of love easily . Is this not the same you screaming blue murder and ‘Change everywhere’ when I muted war against the idea of tribal leaders? I thought you said the President would have changed by May 29? See, there is no way Northerners will remain in love with Buhari if they can’t find their way back to their rightful position of majority in Civil service and I have a strong feeling that both the young and the elites in the North will still be dragging this who-gets --what till May 29 2019 and that means employments and Federal government jobs will remain a scarce commodity to you guys in the South. So if you like you can pull your angry nails from Buhari's neck and sink them into Bola Tinubu's back. It is the spirit of ‘change’. Things have changed.

Kosalabaro: Are you trying to tell me that it's the boil inside my nose and I must learn how to live with it. So what concern this appointment with Federal civil service or you are trying to use alabukun as love charm.

Okebadan: Here we go again. Knowledge, information and exposure is very important. When you left University in the South , your next line of thinking is to go to Europe and America. You don't know that what you are looking for in "sokoto is inside your sokoto. ". There is enough job in Nigeria that can go round among his citizens. In a country where tribalism is one of the major problem confronting us. The head of Parastatals will employ their own people first before considering the people from other region. Any ministry you have a southerners , Easterners or Notherners as the head, check the number of people working under him. I learnt of an MD , a Pastor in FERMA who employs nearly all his church members . There are some parastatals that majority of the people working there are from particular section of the country. Example, Majority of the people in EFCC are from the North especially Adamawa where their First Chairman come from. . To prevent this malady, that's why the government introduce Federal character to accommodate minority groups. And to be honest with you?. How many Northerners did you see in Europe or America struglling like you. When there is ready made available job in Nigeria, you don't need to go to Europe and wash plate now.

Kosalabaro: Hummmm: I'm just scratching my head like a man with itching bottom. But firstly, we Sotherners are like children such that when we are encouraged in this line, we most times overdo and become unmanageable. You are just open my eyes and I promise to think twice in 2019. When you see a Volksvergin beetle car, you will see that it has a bulging light, you will wonder why this until when you open its back and see fire in it. You are an encyclophidia of knowledge.

Okebadan: Stay calm my brother, to learn from other people experience is not admission to failure rather it's addition of knowledge. We are here to educate each other. No one has monopoly of knowledge. I know very sure Buhari will not steal one kobo from your money, he will try to prevent stealing but he loves his religion and tribe more than any other things. He can never be fair in this two area and he is human, no one is perfect all what we need to do is to learn how to live with it.
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Kosalabaro:It’s the truth, like it or not. It is easier for a wife to call a man who provides money for food at home ‘daddy’ or ‘my lord’ than the one his wife has to give subsidy. Every wife loves a cheerful giver, in and out of bed. Too many men these days are too busy doing so many things that they do not notice how dissatisfied and unhappy their wives are. They just move from day to day believing their marriages are perfect just because they are good in bed and are picking the right bills. Great. There’s more to being a husband than just paying the bride price and buying a designer wedding gown. It even goes beyond performing your conjugal duties. Every woman loves a man who leaves her ‘finished’ in bed.

Okebadan : What is the meaning of this early morning sermon, are you an angry bride, or a frustrated groom and then end up in unhappy marriage. ?

Kosalabaro: I'm just expressing my view about your message yesterday as a good citizen of my country. And reacting to your post on single mother is in good direction .

Okebadan : Hummmm. Where I advise people to "Stop discriminating against single mothers, their wives is another man's ex girlfriend. I don't think any mother aims to be a single mom." When a woman walks out of a 10 year old marriage, don’t box her into a stereotype corner and dragged her to Golgotha and nail her to a cross.

Kosalabaro: That's a fantastic write up. You made my day yesterday. Many people don't take a good look at their wives :beneath the designer make up, layers and layers of founda­tion and powder there are internal suffering and agony. Many women have uncommon talent to bottle things up which is why they have enough space on their inside to carry as many as 2 to 4 babies at a time . When she eventually flips her lid, it’s because she’s been logging her pain around for so long. You do not know how long she had been in pain and tried and tried for this not to happen.

Okebadan: The same thing with men. Some wives are in the habit of comparing their marriage. The problems your friend is facing in her marriage are different from yours. That woman you envy may have one big messy marriage and probably wishes she was in your shoes. Many wives can’t even remember the good, old times when they felt on top of the world and believed their husband was the best thing that ever happened to them. They are quick to compare their marriage without thinking that every marriage has a foundation. Some are based on rituals, some on money, some on spiritual binding. And many on naivety. When trouble looms or befalls a marriage or the woman is feeling gloomy, the next practical thing she begins to do is wishing she were somewhere else, some­body else’s wife. They wonders how they ended up where they are . Didn’t their mother warn them? And they almost didn’t marry their husband. They will now realise that their man is not the best and warning their children not to fall into the same trap. Forgotten that there is no perfect husband or wife. Every marriage has a cross, you carry your own cross and I carry my own. If you think your own cross is too big , drop it and go inside to test the remaining cross on ground .You will have cause to thank your star. When things get tough in the home and a marriage seems to be having trouble, the tendency to com­pare our situation unfavourably with another’s is quite high. Any married couple who wants to be honest with themselves will own up, to having fallen into that temptation once or twice.

Kosalabaro: The bottom line is to make God the Alpha and Omega of our marriage. This technicalities you are proven above is easier said than done. Many teachers of marriage but few practice what they teach. See you on Sunday.
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