Date Published: 06/06/11
The need for Body to police and monitor EFCC, ICPC & CCB by Garba Salem
Unless agencies like the EFCC; the ICPC; and the CCB; are monitored, we are going nowhere in fighting corruption. Some former heads of the Commissions had one thing or the other to say towards strengthening those institutions if right results are expected. Those suggestions were normally glossed over by the government and this could be misinterpreted to mean that they were set up to serve personal purposes of the successive head of government. During Obasanjo regime, he set up the EFCC and we are all aware of the public opinions regarding the selective prosecution of cases; this situation continued with successive presidents. For instance, when Yar’Adua came to power, he did not apply it as a tool to checkmate but covered former Governor James Ibori who called the shots. When Jonathan came in as President, the tide changed and it became the tool with which he used in hunting the same Ibori.
The ICPC and CCB are not ruled out as tools being used in similar situations by the power that be. Therefore needed is an independent body whose only responsibility would be to monitor the operators of the EFCC, ICPC and CCB. Reading the NEXT on Sunday edition of May 22, 2011 there was (a recurring kind of) question as to what has happened to the ‘missing’ N20billion bargain-plea recovered loot from the former Inspector General of Police, Balogun Tafa. The question remains unanswered.
Apart from that kind of situation, the overseeing body or establishment should monitor all cases known reported to the Commissions and Bureau. For instance there was a time EFCC boss, Farida Waziri, made scathing statement that a first-term governor from south-south, few months into office, bought a property worth N1billion in Abuja; there was no follow up as to who that was. There was also the case of a governor’s brother, who doubles as Personal Assistant; he approached a foreign embassy for Visa, submitted personal bank account with more than N1.2billion lodgement; the attention of the EFCC by the concerned embassy staff was drawn but the EFCC ignored investigation. The behaviour of the anti-graft agency shows sign of compromise. The EFCC boss was once accused of receiving N42million SUV Mercedes Benz car gift from a sitting governor and no satisfactory refutal.
Many are just watching the macbre dance of EFCC as it has no proactive mechanism. Now they talk of arresting the fleeing former governors. And this also confirms that most of the sitting governors have soils their hands and only wanted the re-election to continue shielding them. The masses are recording all this and revolution could be in the offing because the majority are suffering in the land of plenty.
Alhaji Garba Salem
298 Apapa Road