CITIZENS COMPASS —The Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ola Olukoyede, has said the Commission would go after corrupt persons in Nigeria according to jis mandate.
He assured that there will be no hiding place for them, given the political will of President Bola Tinubu to frontally tackle economic and financial crimes and other acts of corruption.
He gave the assurance in Abuja on Tuesday, January 9, 2024 when the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, Dr. Musa Adamu Aliyu, SAN, paid him a courtesy visit at the corporate headquarters of the Commission.
According to him, President Tinubu is offering the right atmosphere for anti-graft activities, both for the EFCC and ICPC and no Nigerian is immune to investigations for any corruption allegation. “We believe that with the kind of President we have, who is ready and willing to do the right thing and from what we have seen in recent times and in the last 48 hours, it is clear that he has provided the political will and leadership and created the atmosphere for us to work. So there is no hiding place for the corrupt. We must give our best, we must be committed and give the President the right support he needs. Nobody is too big to be investigated in this country. Once you are not playing according to the rules, we will investigate you”, he said.
He further noted that the engagement with the ICPC was sending the right signals to the entire country that the anti-corruption agencies are coming together and extending hands of comradeship and fellowship to each other with a mind to work together. He recalled that there was a subsisting Memorandum of Understanding, MoU between both agencies. “Today, the MoU is in place. It is going to be a living document that we can review from time to time to accommodate mutual interest.”
Olukoyede pointed out that the enormity of cases both agencies are handling justified their independent existence. “Even with five anti-corruption agencies in Nigeria, we hardly can do more than scratch the surface. One anti-corruption agency in the US has a staff strength of about thirty-five thousand. I am not sure the staff strength of the EFCC and the ICPC put together will be up to seven thousand. Though people have been talking of duplication of responsibilities between the EFCC and ICPC, I don’t see it from that perspective. I see it from the perspective of the enormity of the work on our hands. When you are limited by staff strength and resources and there is still so much to be done, it becomes important to work together and see if we can move the country forward”, he said.
To reinforce his commitment to collaboration, the EFCC boss recalled that he reminded the Senate during his confirmation session about the overarching need for collaboration among the EFCC, ICPC, Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit, NFIU and Code of Conduct Tribunal “because we all have roles to play, especially as the major cankerworm hindering our economic and national development is corruption.”
In his opening remarks, the ICPC boss stressed the need for understanding and synergy between his Commission and the EFCC. “It is very important for us to work together. And we cannot work together without having a good relationship, that’s why I decided to extend hands of friendship to the EFCC so that we can see how we can work closely in helping this country to fight corruption. I am aware that there is an MoU between the ICPC and the EFCC.
Continuing, he maintained that “ ICPC is very much ready to collaborate and partner with the EFCC. We thank God that there is a good working relationship and I hope that we are going to sustain this relationship. I also hope we will be meeting on a regular basis to review what we are doing together to see how we can strengthen our relationship. May God help us in the discharge of these onerous tasks”.
The meeting was attended by top management staff of both Commission.