Kalu, EFCC And The Re-branding Project

by Odimegwu Onwumere

What many Nigerians have said that is the renewed effort of the Economic
and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) to re-assess the ex-Governor of Abia
State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu over alleged money impropriety while in office is
better said is a renewed effort of the commission to insult and molest

The commission has bent on arresting and re-arresting the good-natured Kalu
without any evidence to show that he really committed the ‘crime’ which
EFCC has been celebrating for years, without allowing the man be. This
celebration by the EFCC has only achieved the aim of the script of those it
is playing – Bringing the name of Kalu to the mud – and not actually
bringing corruption to standstill. That was not supposed to be.

The cynicism the EFCC is exhibiting against Kalu is one in a million of how
not to fight crime if Nigerians should dig deeper into the case of the
Kalu’s ‘crime’. In earnest, what the EFCC is doing is a war of
slow-destruction against Kalu, but has chosen a hoodwinking method against
the general public that it is fighting a war against corruption.

Nigerians could attest to the unilateral way the commission was formed.
Between 1999-2007, it was used by the president within the period mentioned
to ‘shut-up’ any perceived opposition. And even till date. People were
molested and haunted for ‘crime’ they never committed and without anything
to show for all the money the EFCC also celebrated on the pages of the
newspapers that it recovered from certain quarters. This could be the
reason one remanded Banker has been shouting from the custody recently,
saying, “They are looting my loot.” And one wonders who the looters of her
loot are. Is EFCC corrupt?

The EFCC is bloated everyday with the hard earned name of Kalu brought to
disrepute. The EFCC always use wide coverage by the media to impress
Nigerians while molesting Kalu. Today, many Nigerians are not impressed
about this. Nigerians believed that this act by the agency is just a
charade. You don’t sentence someone to prison before arraigning the person
in a court.

Apart from Kalu whom many Nigerians have told the EFCC to prove itself
right by providing documents that show that he really mismanaged the touted
fund, they knew that the commission has just been celebrating mediocrity.
What even the Federal Government (FG) has not realized is that the EFCC is
giving the country a bad image before the international community. It is
always celebrating long lists of imaginary Nigerian corrupt persons without
any prove to back its lists. This behaviour is very bad, especially in
recent times when Nigeria had launched a “Good people, Great Nation”
re-branding campaign, yet the teleguided EFCC is sending message across the
world that corruption is imminent in Nigeria. But this is untrue. Those
Nigerians on the EFCC’s lists are not corrupt, except the commission would
prove otherwise.

Such eyeservice practice by the EFCC is dubious. Its war against corruption
from its inception has setback the FG’s image laundering of Nigeria abroad.
Every Nigerian is seen and deemed as a corrupt person anywhere in the world
just because the EFCC has been sending message of ‘corruption imminent in
Nigeria’ across to the countries of the world. And the commission is always
happy generating controversy that has plunged the anti-corruption war in
Nigeria. If the FG really wants to help Nigeria, it should put an end the
commission. A panel had even recommended this.

Because of how the EFCC has made Nigeria be rated in the comity of nations,
it could be recalled that Nigeria was in the 2010 Corruption Perception
Index of the arguably Transparency International and was listed as one of
the most corrupt nations in the world. Why? Because of the EFCC’s
abracadabra to safe its continued efforts to stay as EFCC whereas the image
of Nigeria is rubbished and tainted. Against that influence, the Human
Rights Watch, a US-based rights organisation, painted EFCC as a toothless
bulldog, saying, “Despite its promise, the EFCC has fallen far short of its
potential and eight years after its inception is left with a battered
reputation and an uncertain record of accomplishment.”

The case here is should the EFCC go unpunished for always painting the
image of Nigeria black with its barking action, without motion? Nigerians
have been beaten several times by this EFCC and they are shy, therefore the
agency should be swept under the carpet. It has failed to do a proper job
of investigation before molesting Kalu. And Nigerians are not taking this
with a pinch of salt. Hence, is Kalu really that corrupt or is it not the
EFCC that is truly corrupt? EFCC has a poor criminal investigative unit to
fight corruption and should shut-up.

Straight away, the EFCC lags in putting itself to order before coming to
the public to talk about who is corrupt or not corrupt, and oblivious that
it always brings itself to the public gallery for people all over the world
to laugh at.

Corruption is not hegemonies. The EFCC could be corrupt and should stop
massaging its ego, by painting Nigerians as a corrupt people. There is no
proposal or far-reaching judicial reforms because of the EFCC on how to
fast-track the trial of Kalu that would work.

The FG should henceforth audit EFCC. Without mincing word, EFCC has failed.
Does it not take absolute morality to expose absolute immorality again?
This EFCC should remove its speck before coming to equity. If it has no
work to do, it should then let Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu be.

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