Anti-corruption Activists Warn against Politicisation of EFCC, Back Agbakoba on Kogi
Ibrahim Oyewale in Lokoja
As the Kogi State Government and Economic and Finance Crime Commission (EFCC) bickered over allegations of money laundering, the frontline anti-corruption activists have risen strongly in support of the position of a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Dr. Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), against what they described as the politicisation of the EFCC.
This was contained in a statement jointly signed by six anti-corruption activists which was made available to journalists in Lokoja yesterday.
According to them, the commission’s recent actions, especially against the Kogi State Government, portray it as a “compromised political tool.”
The activists are leaders of various frontline anti-corruption organisations, including Centre for Anti-corruption and Open Leadership; Centre for Public Accountability; Coalition Against Corruption and Bad Governance; Africa Labour Research Centre; and Secureworld and Liberty Initiative for Peace, among others.
They specifically called on President Muhammadu Buhari to call the EFCC to order and move in to save the image of the government as regards its commitment to an unbiased war against corruption.
They singled out what they described as an unending persecution of the Kogi State Government, arguing that the EFCC’s job was not tidy as it had given a loud impression that there was a political axe to grind with the state beyond the mandate of the commission.
Those who signed the statement on behalf of their various organisations included the Executive Chairman, Centre For Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL), Debo Adeniran; Chairman, Secureworld and Liberty Initiative for Peace and co-National spokesperson of the Coalition of United Political Parties, Mark Adebayo; Executive Director, Africa Labour Research Centre, Biodun Sowunmi; Executive Director, Centre For Public Accountability, Olufemi Lawson, and a legal practitioner, Emeka Igwe.
Other signatories are: Toyin Raheem, chairman, Coalition Against Corruption and Bad Governance (CACOBAG), Akinbiyi Omoleye; Secretary, Zero Corruption Movement (ZECOM); and Ishola Adeshina of Kill Corruption Coalition, among others.
They said: “We unequivocally stand with Dr. Olisa Agbakoba in his observations and call on the EFCC to review its operational methods in a way that will not compromise its founding principle.
“It must eschew every manner of political patronage and manipulation, which are bound to destroy its public perception locally and internationally. The Kogi State issue that Agbakoba alluded to is one case too many. There is a strong suspicion that the EFCC has a particular interest to cause chaos in Kogi State by its unnecessary and reprehensible fixation on the state and its affairs.
“We call on the EFCC to shed its political toga and concentrate on its constitutional mandate of fighting corruption and leave politics to politicians. We call on President Buhari to call the EFCC to order before it destroys his impressive achievements in the area of fighting corruption, which is acknowledged as unprecedented even by his most vehement critics.”