Why We Sued EFCC—MIIVOC…Accuses Commission’s Leadership Of Corruption
A Non-Governmental Organisation, Media Initiative against Injustice, Violence and Corruption-MIIVOC says it dragged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission –EFCC to Court over its refusal to respond to a request made under the Freedom of Information Act bothering on credibility.
MIIVOC Public Education Officer, Mr. Gibson Boro, who gave the explanation while addressing newsmen in Owerri on Monday, accused the EFCC of corruption and urged the President to take urgent steps to sanitize the Commission.
“The problem with the EFCC and other anti-corruption agencies in Nigeria is that they are required to monitor public officers, but there are no adequate provisions for their activities to be monitored. Nobody is checking the activities of the anti-corruption agencies and they have totally derailed. The EFCC as at today is a disappointment to the Nigerians and to the international community that supported them all these years.”
“With Mr. Lamorde and his team being accused of involvement in the illegal crude oil sales in Salt Ponds Ghana, by the United States Government and illegal sale of recovered assets from suspects, how can they fight corruption? President Jonathan must show commitment to the fight against corruption in Nigeria by first sanitizing the leadership of EFCC.”
Continuing, Mr. Boro expressed concerns over the inability of the Commission to account for loots recovered from corrupt public office holders, which he said underscores the urgent need for an Asset Management Agency for Nigeria - an objective that the Proceeds of Crime Bill being considered by the National Assembly is meant to achieve.
“The fact is that the international community is viewing this administration as not being serious with the fight against corruption because the recovered funds have been re-looted, sometimes by the same law enforcement agencies that recovered the stolen funds. How can Nigerians allow the EFCC under the leadership of Mr. Lamorde to make a mockery of the anti-corruption war in Nigeria? Corruption is Nigeria's single, most formidable problem, and has led to the destabilization of the Nigeria's democracy in the past. Corruption also has security implications, especially when there are internal corruption by the same people who are supposed to fight corruption. Indeed, this problem started when Mr. Larmode was a Director of Operations under Mr. Nuhu Ribadu and Mr. Emmanuel Akomaye, the former EFCC Commission Secretary and Mrs. Farida Waziri. Questions have been raised in the past about “Who will watch the watchdog”? Who is supervising and regulating EFCC, ICPC, CCB and other relevant bodies? Without a strong oversight, Nigerians may never see the end to the looting of funds by public officers and by anti-corruption officers.
He commended the National Assembly for passing the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Center Bill, which he described as a landmark achievement in the war against corruption, money laundering and terrorism financing in Nigeria, even as he spoke of the need for credible persons to be appointed to head the Center.
He urged the National Assembly and Nigerians to resist any attempt by EFCC to impose a stooge that will continue in the same manner in which EFCC is being managed.
MIIVOC also urged the lawmakers to make haste to pass other anti-corruption related bills in order to strengthen the legal framework for the fight against corruption in Nigeria.
Top among the bills are: the Proceeds of Crime (POCA) Bill that seeks to establish a central Agency to manage the proceeds recovered from convicted criminals and the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Bill.
It would be recalled that MIIVOC had through a letter dated 27thJanuary, 2014, invoked the Freedom of information act via a request for information bothering on credibility, finances and Police presence in the EFCC.
According to the FOI request, MIIVOC made a 7-point demand that centered on the controversies surrounding the Commission's financial state, alleged dominance of the Commission by the Police and other credibility issues.
“To sustain the credibility of this Commission among Nigerians and at the international level, a more robust and convincing response is expected from the Commission in situations such as this, considering the series of controversies that have trailed the Commission's activities and operations lately.”
“It is the need for this credibility and in view of the right of Nigerians to know, that we most respectfully invoke Sections 1, 2 (3)(V), 2(3)(Vi) of the 2011 Freedom of Information Act to request for the following: Details of all Police officers posted to EFCC, their qualifications, ranks, and duties as well as dates of secondment to EFCC; Details of police officers that are in charge of operations, sections and units of EFCC; Details of senior officers of EFCC occupying Directorate positions and the number that are supposed to be in Directorate positions if not for the police officers; The volume and value of EFCC funds (INCLUDING NON-APPROPRIATED FUNDS) that go to the Police, Ministry of Trade and Investment Special Control Unit Department , Training of staff, number of officials of EFCC trained (and other officials who are not EFCC officials) and how much was saved from EFCC budget in 2013 given all the international funding and support it obtained in 2012/2013.”
Other requests are: Details of support and funding from the international community in 2013, especially, funds from: GIABA/ECOWAS and World Bank; Details of EFCC officials trained by international agencies in 2013 and how much was saved in the budget of EFCC because of this support and The actual financial statement of the Commission, as at December 31st, 2013.
Media Initiative against Injustice, Violence and Corruption (MIIVOC) is a coalition of communication, civil society and human rights activists and groups with interest in the war against injustice, Violence, immorality and corruption, as well as the protection of human rights, from a communication perspective.