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Anti-Corruption War Not Personal - Farida; Says No Case Will Be Abandoned

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ABUJA, June 29, (THEWILL) - Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mrs. Farida Waziri has stressed that the Commission’s work is driven by a high sense of professionalism and integrity devoid of personal, ethno-centric or religious considerations. She explained that the EFCC has taken the onerous responsibilities of ridding the nation of all shades of economic crimes and that the exercise of those responsibilities is shorn of any extraneous interests whatsoever.

“The fight is not personal. Most of the people that we take to court I don’t know them and I expect people to appreciate the fact that we have a work to do, and we have taken an oath to carry out this duty without fear or favour,” she stressed.

Waziri disclosed this on Wednesday while receiving the national leadership of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ led by its National President, Mallam Garba Mohammed at her office in Abuja.

She stressed that the work of the EFCC would never be well- appreciated without the input of the media and that before any case is charged to court by the Commission, thorough investigations are carried out coupled with diligent prosecution to ensure that justice is obtained in the overall interest of the nation.

Speaking on the issue of selectivity, Waziri pointed out that there is no application of quota system in the prosecution of economic crimes and wondered why some people make so much noise whenever somebody from their locality is being prosecuted. “Here we charge one person at a time. You cannot wait for an Hausa man to commit a crime while that of an Ibo or Yoruba man is being investigated so that they will all be charged together to have a federal character.”

She explained that the EFCC is more interested in “the legal sustainability of all its cases and national interest than to be bothered by allegations that have no basis in law enforcement. So far, the EFCC has never had any of its cases struck out on technical grounds,” she said.

Waziri, therefore, called on all Nigerians to once again embrace the anti-graft war and buy into it fully, wondering why the masses who ought to hold their leaders accountable are themselves being bought over by the same people depriving them their share of the commonwealth. She also cleared the air on the cases of some former governors promising that the EFCC is still on top of the cases against them and that a thorough job is being done to ensure their diligent prosecution as soon as investigations are concluded.

Speaking later, the NUJ President, Garba Mohammed said that his team was at the EFCC to commend Waziri for having steered the Commission to a level hitherto unknown to all Nigerians.

“Your coming on board as the Executive Chairman of EFCC has added value to this country and we are proud to associate with you,” Farida said.

The NUJ, while promising to partner with the Commission in repositioning the country in the comity of nations as a corrupt- free country, said it is poised to utilize the recently passed Freedom of Information law in exposing and reporting corrupt practices in the country.

The NUJ President was accompanied by some national executive members of the union including the National Secretary, Alhaji Shuabi Leiman and Gbenga Onaiga, among others. The visit also saw Waziri presented with the “Person of the Year Award” by a New York based on-line newspaper, published by a United States-based Journalist, Chukwuma Oreagbu.