Abuja – Some Nigerians have commended the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for its current fight against corruption.
They said in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the exercise was making impact, most especially the commission’s arrest of former public officers.
Dr Fredrick Fasehun, founder and President of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC),lauded the EFCC for beaming its searchlight on finances of some individuals that had once held public offices.
Fasehun said the arrest of the former Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Andrew Yakubu, and the recovery of 9.8 million dollars and 74, 000 pounds from his home, was a “breakthrough’’.
Fasheun, who is also the National Chairman of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), also commended the final forfeiture of over N66 billion linked to the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke to the Federal Government, as ordered by the Court.
The UPN chairman urged the agency to continue the anti-corruption fight, but cautioned it against selective arrest.
“EFCC has a lot to do by bringing to book those it thinks have undermined the constitution of this country and looted the treasury,’’ he said.
Similary, Dr Yunisa Tanko, National Chairman, National Conscience Party (NCP), commended the agency for its fight against corruption, but advised that it should deploy scientific means of investigating and recovering money allegedly siphoned from various treasury across the country.
He also advised the agency to ensure timely arraignment and prosecution of anybody found to have looted the treasury.
Tanko, who is also a member of the National Peace Committee, however, said that arrests of some public office holders were long-overdue, and implored the anti-graft agency to beam its searchlight on all nooks and crannies of the country.
He said this had become imperative because in spite of the anti-corruption drive of the present administration, Nigeria still ranked high among the corrupt countries in the world.
While commending the EFCC for the anti-corruption fight, Tanko, however, said that a cross section of people in the country believed that the commission was still being selective in its operations.
“EFCC has a lot to do to earn the respect of the society because people still see them as acting out the master’s script,’’ he said.
Mr Saminu Abdullahi, a trader, also commended the commission’s fight against graft, but described its manner of arrest of suspects as “crude’’.
Abdullahi also said that in spite of the agency’s best efforts and capacity to track down offenders, it lacked the modern technique of operations.
He advised the EFCC to exercise its discretionary powers within the ambit of the law, without violating human rights in its operations.
He also urged Nigerians to support the Acting Chairman of the commission, Mr Ibrahim Magu, to succeed in the commission’s anti-graft war.
“We must all support the patriotic efforts of the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, at tackling corruption, so far.
“I also am appealing to the Senate to confirm his appointment to enable him to do more,’’ the trader said.
Mrs Abigei Nze, an Accountant, also lauded the EFCC for doing “ a good job, so far’’, especially its arrest of highly-placed former public officers.
Nze said but for the bold operations of the EFCC, “the nation would have been consumed by corruption’’.