FG Restates Commitment to Anti-Graft War...As EFCC Opens Maiduguri Zonal Office
The Federal Government has restated its iron resolve to fight economic and financial crimes and other cases of corruption across the country. This resolve was reiterated by the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, SAN, at the formal opening of the North-East zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission , EFCC.
He said that government will not relent in curbing incidences of graft and would continue to support all anti-graft agencies, including the EFCC, to rid the nation of nefarious practices by crime-prone individuals.
According to him, the EFCC, 'has helped restored the credibility of the country internally and for the first time, fundamentally addressing the problem of corruption with an unprecedented number of over 600 convictions in the last seven years, an asset recovery of over $9 billion USD in less than three years and drastically curtailing a culture of impunity in the polity. The Commission no doubt is a pride of the nation.
'The Commission therefore deserves the support and cooperation of all to enable it do more. The federal government is determined to combat corruption and instil zero tolerance. It will therefore continue to support the Commission to achieve its mandate.'
In her response, the EFCC Chairman, Mrs. Farida Waziri , expressed the un-relenting commitment of the Commission to continue to fight economic and financial crimes saying the anti-graft war must be total. She said that the over $9billion the Commission has recorded in less than three years of her leadership could not have been possible without hard work, courage and commitment of the leadership and officers of the Commission. 'We will not relent in this effort. We will continue to make the nation uncomfortable for fraudsters but conducive for all well-meaning Nigerians', she promised.
She said that the choice of Maiduguri as the North-East zonal office of the Commission was due to its strategic importance in the region. She sued for the support of the people of the state.
According to her 'the choice of the new zonal office is dictated by the location of Borno state next to the neighbouring countries- Chad, Niger and Cameroon. This naturally predispose Borno to smuggling activities, trans-border cash transportation etc all of which are economic crimes that are inimical to the economy of Nigeria.The location of the office in Borno will also enable the Commission to efficiently carry out its activities in the nearby states of Adamawa, Taraba and Yobe.'
At the event which held at the new ultra-modern office of the EFCC in Maiduguri , Governor Ali Modu Sheriff of Borno state used the occasion to pour encomiums on the EFCC 'on its huge achievements'. He said that the Commission has been performing its duties creditably and diligently and has made tremendous progress in its assigned mandate of fighting economic and financial crimes. 'We are familiar with what the present leadership of the EFCC has been doing and it is impressive that the EFCC has recorded huge achievements and has been performing its duties diligently', he said.
The Governor stressed the importance of the anti-graft war in a developing nation like Nigeria saying that corruption hinders growth and development and makes the future grim. He called for more broad-based support for the EFCC and more enlightenment campaigns to ensure that the public joins in the anti-corruption war. In the same way, the Chief Judge, Borno state, Zannah Shettima, also expressed support and commitment to the EFCC in its challenging efforts of combating economic and financial crimes. He bared his mind on the challenge of 'delay in trial, interruptions and interventions in prosecution' and promised that the EFCC will not suffer any delay in its prosecution of corruption cases in Borno state. 'We will treat all cases with dispatch and will not allow any delay in trial', he promised.
Governor Sheriff was represented at the event by the State Commissioner for Works, Alhaji Abu Kyari while the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice sent his address through the EFCC Chairman. The EFCC has offices in Abuja , Lagos , Enugu , PortHarcourt; Gombe, Kano . The commissioning of the Maiduguri office is meant to enhance the national presence of the Commission.