EFCC Slams TI over Corruption Rating, Welcomes MacArthur Foundation on Partnership
EFCC Slams Transparency International over Poor Rating on Nigeria
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, vehemently condemned in strong terms, the 2019 Corruption Perception Index, CPI recently released by Transparency International, TI, which ranked Nigeria 146 out of 180 countries analysed.
The Commission further faults the poor rating as baseless, and describes as appalling, the bogus and ambiguous criteria used by TI to arrive at what can best be described as a jaundiced and illogical rating.
We insist that the rating is a far cry from the evident strides and achievements so far accomplished by the anti-graft agency in the fight against corruption, particularly under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The claim and inference by TI that Nigeria ranks the fourth most corrupt country in West Africa is totally unacceptable, as it is evidently not supported by any empirical data, especially when placed side-by-side with the remarkable achievements of the Commission in the past years.
Moreover, it is quite ironic that the report by TI posits that the index does not show real incidences of corruption, yet it claims that the report is a reliable indication of the perception of the Nigerian public and the international community about the state of corruption in the country.
Suffice to state that in 2019 – the year under review by TI was particularly a remarkable one for the EFCC as the Commission secured unprecedented record of 1,268 convictions, including that of a former state governor and a serving senator who was convicted for defrauding his state to the tune of N7.65billion.
It was a landmark in the fight against corruption never achieved across the West African region, indeed, Africa at large. This is among several high profile cases, which were successfully prosecuted during the year with many of them currently serving various jail terms.
Over the past years, billions of naira, millions of dollars and other foreign currencies were recovered from corrupt persons in the country, including securing the forfeiture of assets of their illegal and fraudulent activities. So far, the EFCC has evidently altered the narrative that there are some persons that are untouchables in the country.
It is on record that three former state governors are currently serving different jail terms in prison for defrauding their states and stealing from the treasury to enrich themselves and their cronies.
The EFCC has also spearheaded the Nigerian angle of prosecuting those involved in the Malabu Oil Fraud, and in partnership with the INTERPOL, was able to secure the repatriation of a former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice implicated in the fraud, who has been on the run. Charges have already been filed against him at a Federal Capital Territory, FCT High Court and he has just been arraigned today.
The Commission has also not given up on its unrelenting efforts to ensure that a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, is made to answer for the various malfeasance perpetrated under her, in spite of the obvious reluctance of the United Kingdom to repatriate her to Nigeria.
The onslaught against perpetrators of internet fraud, infamously known as yahoo-yahoo, has also intensified with several of them now serving jail terms.
It is obvious that TI seems to have decidedly decided to look the other way, overlooking all these achievements all of which are not hidden. It is unfortunate that the body has never acknowledged the achievements of the EFCC. It is obvious that the body has its own hidden agenda.
The Commission will, however not be distracted by a body that has been consistent in its biased rating of Nigeria, and will continue in its mandate of fighting corruption.
Acting Head, Media & Publicity
EFCC, MacArthur Foundation to Strengthen Partnership, Improve Collaboration
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and MacArthur Foundation have pledged to further their collaboration and strengthen their existing partnership.
This was the high point of the discussions when the president of the Foundation, John Palfrey, led his team on a courtesy visit to the Commission’s Headquarters on Thursday, January 23, 2020.
While welcoming the delegation, Magu thanked the Foundation for its continued partnership and collaboration with the Commission in the fight against corruption.
On his part, the Secretary to the Commission, Olanipekun Olukoyede thanked the Foundation for the role it played in last year’s World Anti-Corruption Day, organized by the Commission and explained that the EFCC was ready to partner with other global agencies in the fight against corruption.
He informed the team that the Commission recorded 1,200 convictions in 2019, a feat he partly attributed to President Muhammadu Buhari’s political will to tackle corruption in the country.
In his remarks, John Palfrey commended the Commission’s determination to battle corruption in the country, and explained that his team was in the country to support and drive accountability and transparency and to make sure that looters of the Nigeria’s treasury were brought to justice.
He applauded Magu’s courage in the anti-corruption fight and disclosed that the MacArthur Foundation team was glad to have partnered with the Commision. “We express our gratitude for the many years of partnership,” Palfrey stated.
Acting Head, Media & Publicity