EFCC and the Federal Government Reforms

by Odimegwu Onwumere

Many Human Rights advocates and analysts had admonished the need for the
establishment of a special court, which would be sitting day-by-day, like
the election petitions tribunal, for the speedy trial of anyone found
unjustifiable of sordid details with money, while holding any public
office. This gesture would assist the Federal Government’s options on
judicial reforms that could fast-track the trial of alleged corrupt
persons, because there are no strong indications that ex-governors and
their like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had said
it’s studying petitions against them really committed the ‘crime’ they are
being hounded for years without allowing the innocent Nigerians a

It is because of the lack and provision of substantive evidence by the EFCC
in the court that has led to many of these “corrupt persons” set free by
the court. But the EFCC in its orchestrated efforts in misleading Nigerians
to believe that it is working, would show some *gragra,* consequently
creating a bad impression in the minds of the unsuspecting Nigerians to
believing that “corrupt judges in the judiciary set corrupt politicians
free in court”; but this is not true, because the judges know the law and
they carry out their court dealings based on the provision of the law and

What the Federal Government is perhaps oblivious of is that the image of
Nigeria and Nigerians are incessantly battered outside the shores of this
country by the EFCC. The information given as news that about 77
high-profile cases, including those of 14 ex-governors and two ministers, are
pending in various courts in the last four years, should buttress the fact
that the EFCC was not for the good name of Nigeria. This is shameful and is
giving Nigeria a very bad name and poor image before the comity of
nations.It is therefore pertinent that the
Federal Government must know that the EFCC has so far given the
international community the impression that Nigerians are corrupt (whereas
it is not true) without anything to demonstrate for its always harangue of
corruption among Nigerians. This also abuses the esteemed office of
the Attorney-General
of the Federation and Minister of Justice. The Minister’s office was
supposed to be proposing a reaching judicial reforms on how to pummel
incivility in the country, and not the eye service job the jaundiced EFCC
is doing just to score cheap publicity by playing the script of its
institutors against some persons perceived to be in the Black Book of these
persons who feel that they are demi-gods that must be worshipped.

While the presidency may be developing an impressive plan to fight
corruption, it should understand that the EFCC has gored many oxen it had
no confirmation to do so before goring them. One man the EFCC has molested
so much in this country is the ex-Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor
Kalu, whom the EFCC is per minute increasing the money said he
‘misappropriated’ while in office. The EFCC had said in 2007 that Kalu
mismanaged N3B. Later Nigerians heard reports from the same EFCC that he
mismanaged N5B. But in all of that did reports not show that the
“mismanaged money” was N2.8B, which was Security Vote, any governor of a
state was supposed to hold and spend on the destination the money was meant
to be conveyed to? Is the EFCC saying that if no person is molested and
abused in Nigeria, at least, it must be Kalu? For what! Is this not the man
who provided good drugs in good health facilities the Abia Government that
he once led built, good roads, education, portable water? Just name them. So,
it is expedient that the EFCC is also brought to book and be prosecuted or
audited for molesting Nigerians and wearing on them the label of corruption
it had no prove for. The EFCC was just acting on hear-say through petitions
of those who perhaps are enemies of the people they petitioned the EFCC to
arrest and prosecute, not that the EFCC was real to the issues of
corruption detractors have wore on those they are detracting.

While the Federal Government maybe giving directive to the appropriate
ministries and commissions in the Executive arm to speak with the judiciary
on how to hit hard on corruption, it is therefore essential that it also
lengthens its hand on the EFCC and terminate its existence. It will be
garbage in, garbage out on its fight against corruption if the EFCC is not
sent to the archives where it truly belongs immediately, for posterity to
judge. This will be the height of Reforms in Nigeria if achieved. After
all, the trial of all the ex-governors and former Ministers and those
already arraigned in court by the EFCC, has not brought any good name to
the country, but bad name. The EFCC make them criminals before they are
arraigned in any court of competent jurisdiction. Imagine the grimace that
would be on people’s face if a country like the USA is brought to the
public glare that the number of Nigerians the EFCC has been parading is
paraded in the USA by a semblance commission like the EFCC over there. Does
it mean that the USA has no such commission? But the USA prefers to respect
the dignity of her citizens and the Constitution and not to make name in
fighting corruption just as the EFCC is doing with the aid of the media
thereby bringing the names of reputable Nigerians to the mud, and the name
of Nigeria to the deeper mud.

Seeking for judicial reforms that will ensure quick dispensation of justice
is fine, but not when the names of the alleged persons on the EFCC’s pseudo
list are transported to the ‘new’ era for trial. Cases that only exist
because of certain petitions without concrete prove by the EFCC should be
struck out ones and for all. Also, there shouldn’t be any committee to look
into the performance and truthfulness of judges in the past. Let there be
Reforms in its entirety if the government wants to reform because mirroring
backward will not produce any progressive potent result but retrogression
and impotent backwardness. It is an opinion that amnesty should be the term
used in discharging and acquitting the names of those present on the EFCC’s
list. This does not mean to support corruption, but it is better it is done
that way for a proper fight against corruption to germinate on a fertile
land free from any artificial application.

The EFCC should be pruned of the abuse of power it has been exhibiting
where it does the work of police and many times wants Nigerians to see it
as the judiciary. It is not only the ex-governors, ministers and other that
worth questioning and arrest, the EFCC also deserves the same fate because
it has lived its expiry date. There is every need that the EFCC and its
insincere-long-list of corrupt persons, especially those of political
class, be dismissed.

You may also like

Leave a Comment