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2011: We wont succumb to BlackMail – EFCC

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has described as cheap blackmail attempts by some politicians to link its on-going investigation of multi-billion naira fraud allegations in some states of the federation to the 2011 elections.

The Commission in a statement on Friday September 3, 2010 said insinuations in media reports that it is targeting pro-zoning governors ahead of the 2011 elections, are calculated to freeze its hands. It however vowed that no amount of propaganda or campaign of calumny will stop it from carrying out its statutory responsibilities of investigating and prosecuting economic and financial crimes in any part of the country.

According to the statement, “We have a legitimate duty to investigate and prosecute all forms of economic and financial crimes in all parts of the federation. This, we have been doing since the inception of the Commission in 2003 and will continue to do within the ambit of the law.

“It is on record that the Commission has continued to investigate various fraud allegations in several states of the federation, local government councils, federal agencies and private establishments.

“As such, our on-going investigations of multi-billion naira fraud allegations in Kebbi, Kwara, Imo, Jigawa and Rivers States are not different from what we have done in other states before now.

“Rather than making desperate moves to blackmail the Commission by imputing illogical meanings to its legitimate duties in a bid to freeze its hands, the questions the brains behind this propaganda should answer are:

“Are there allegations of fraud against their officials?

Is the EFCC empowered to investigate such fraud allegations?

Is there any law barring EFCC from investigating fraud allegations before, during or after elections?

Should election time be taken as a holiday period when law enforcement agents would have to close their eyes to the looting of public treasury?

“These are some of the pertinent questions whose answers will expose the hidden agenda of those behind the plot to frustrate the nation's anti-graft war.

“We will like to re-assure the public as has often been been stated long before now by the leadership of the Commission, that the EFCC is not under any pressure from the Presidency or any other quarters to do anyone's bidding on any issue.

“Attempts to link our operations to political considerations remain a blackmail which will not stop us from doing the needful within the ambit of our statutory responsibilities.”