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Who is afraid of EFCC?

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Recently, there have been simulated hues on the activities of the nation’s foremost anti- corruption agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Since the appointment of Mr. Olanipekun Olukoyede as Chairman of the commission last October, there is no doubt that the fight against corruption has taken a new vista. A new Sheriff is in town! The EFCC under Olukoyede has recorded unprecedented success in the recovery of looted funds and prosecution of suspected fraudsters, high and low. Never in the history of the commission has such a humongous amount of money in national and international currencies recovered from looters.

In fact, the EFCC added another chip to its bulging shoulders recently when a whole university, found to have been established with the proceeds from corruption, was permanently forfeited to the Federal Government! A whole university, forfeited on the basis of corruption!!!? That’s unheard of!

EFCC is so dreaded now that even a former Chief Security Officer of a state for eight years is unbelievably scared-stiff of going to court for mere arraignment by the EFCC. The EFCC is now seen by the corrupt, even in their sleep! To sum it up: The fear of the EFCC is now the begging of wisdom.

Of course, one does not expect to throw a heavy punch without a response, especially when your opponents have a heavy purse and are highly placed and connected? The attacks are rolling in barely disguised.

Never in the annals of the EFCC has the commission faced a barrage of simulated, sponsored and coordinated attacks, especially in the media, by people whose filthy toes have been marched and their hedonistic ego punctured by the EFCC.

What is EFCC’s calling?

Established on 10 April 2003, the agency’s functions include: investigation of all financial crimes including advance fee fraud, money laundering, counterfeiting, illegal fund transfers, futures market fraud, contract scam etc.; the coordination and enforcement of all economic and financial crimes laws; adoption of measures to identify, trace, freeze, confiscate or seize proceeds derived from terrorist activities and adoption of methods to eradicate the commission of economic and financial crimes.

The EFCC was also created to statutorily collaborate with government bodies both within and outside Nigeria to ensure the eradication of economic and financial crimes; and to also engage in education and enlightenment campaign against the evil of economic and financial crimes within and outside Nigeria.

It is true that one may not totally rule out some form of overzealousness by few operatives of the commission in carrying out their statutory functions, even in minutest cases; but that is why the laws are enacted and the courts created. Whoever is displeased with the activities of the commission should be bold enough to seek redress in the court of law instead of turning copious sponsored advertorials into articles to attack the EFCC.

There are litany of cases where the Federal Government has been reprimanded and made to pay damages for human rights infringements, let alone the agency created by the Federal Government.

The commission has made unprecedented strides since the assumption of office of the new Chairman less than a year ago. This strides must be supported by well-meaning people and the flame of the new EFCC must not be deemed.

So far, EFCC is reported to have secured 3,175 convictions and recovered N156,276,691,242.30 between 29 May 2023 and now . Foreign cash seizures are also as follows $43,835,214.24, £25,365.00, €186,947.10, ₹51,360.00, C$3,750.00, A$740.00, ¥74,754.00, R35,000.00, 42,390.00 UAE Dirhams, 247.00 Riyals and 21,580,867,631 Crypto Currency. These are mind-boggling figures that have kept the mouth wide open.

Blessed is the one who does not commit financial crimes, covert public funds, harbour proceeds of corruption or sits in the company of fraudsters.

For those who do not want water to be splashed on them, they should stay away from the river bank. A lot of noise is being and would continue to be made against EFCC but they will remain what they are: Noise!

On its own, the Federal Government has demonstrated exemplary posture in supporting the renewed fight by EFCC against corruption. A minister in the current administration has been excused and suspended from office, pending investigation by the EFCC. Other serving top government functionaries have not found sanctuary in the Tinubu administration. Therefore, people alleged or accused of corruption must be ready to voluntarily aid investigations, keep their dates in the court and clear their names or face the music.

For the EFCC, it is better to be feared, abused and detested by people facing corruption allegations than to be praised. The hope of victory over corruption will dim the moment the corrupt start to praise the EFCC.

As the saying goes: “A clean conscience fears no accusation”. At the end of the day, the question remains: Who is afraid of EFCC?

Osifisan, a public affairs analyst based in Abeokuta, Ogun State, sent this piece via osifisankehinde269@gmail.com

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