The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has over the years earned itself the image of a toothless bulldog. No thanks to the way and manner its investigations and prosecutions are carried out. Eventually, many celebrated and sensationalized cases end up nowhere, making financial crimes more attractive.
Jubilant crowds celebrated in parts of Abeokuta and Ijebu Ode when the news of the arrest of the immediate past Governor of Ogun State filtered in on Thursday.
Apart from wondering whether the arrest calls for celebration, a good percentage of Nigeria’s population have become indifferent about the anti-graft agency and its activities.
These are the days of plea bargain, asset forfeiture and the like. The offender eventually gets away to enjoy the remaining part of his loot with which he lives happily ever after, while the EFFC feels fulfilled having recovered part of Nigeria’s looted wealth.
Former Governors in Nigeria seem to be a rare breed, they hardly ever get to see the inside of a prison cell as convicts. And by the time they go back to their strongholds, they are received like heroes who were persecuted for doing what anybody could have done.
Peter Ayodele Fayose, a former Governor of Ekiti State was dragged to court for allegedly ripping his state off while serving as Governor. Years after, nothing concrete has been done. Fayose contested for a Senate seat and now that he has found his way back to the Peoples’ Democratic Party, he has indicated his desire to contest for the vice chairmanship of the party.
The credibility of the EFCC is at stake when the likes of Joshua Dariye, who was arrested with huge sums of money and also accused of embezzling $ 9 million is one of those making laws for the country. If Senator Dariye enjoyed immunity as Governor, his tenure ended on May 29, 2007 and he got elected as a Senator in 2011. A probable indication that some people might just be above the law.
The Dimeji Bankole saga has also become a matted of debate regarding the efficiency of the EFCC.
The arrest of Alao Akala, Gbenga Daniel and Akwe Doma is being viewed in some quarters as one of the unending shows of Madam Waziri and her commission which should be enjoyed while it lasts.
It is now up to the EFCC to show Nigerians that it is ready to fight corruption, but while we wait to see that, the show goes on.