By Aluta News
Jan. 20, 2024
Dr Kayode Ajulo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), has called on President Bola Tinubu to urgently set up a presidential taskforce to identify corrupt officers in the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC).
Ajulo made the call in Abuja on Saturday against the backdrop of the claim by Mr Ola Olukoyede, Chairman, EFCC, that the quest for bribes by the agency’s investigators had become “too embarrassing”.
Olukoyede had disclosed this in his new-year address to the staff of the commission on Jan. 18.
Ajulo, however, said the president should set up a taskforce to look into the activities of corrupt elements in the agency.
He added that an agency saddled with fighting corruption should be above board, adding that it was apparent that the commission could not self-clean.
He noted that the main task of the presidential taskforce would be to weed out corrupt elements of the commission, to allow it function effectively.
The constitutional lawyer also urged Tinubu to look into the merger of the EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offenses Commission (ICPC).
According to him, the EFCC should either be merged with the ICPC or the president sets up a task force to look into the activities of corrupt officers in the anti graft agency.
“The EFCC has long been entrusted with the critical responsibility of preventing, investigating, and prosecuting financial crimes.
“However, recent developments have raised concerns about the commission’s focus and operations, warranting a thorough reassessment of its mandate and effectiveness.
“Regrettably, it appears that the EFCC has strayed from its primary functions, engaging in what can be described as political posturing.”
Ajulo noted that the EFCC had prioritised high-profile cases and media sensationalism over its core objectives, thereby compromising its ability to diligently pursue and bring to justice the real perpetrators of economic and financial crimes.
He added that it was therefore crucial to critically evaluate the EFCC operations, address shortcomings, and reinforce its commitment to its original purpose.
The legal luminary said it was expedient for the EFCC to restore public trust, enhance transparency, and strengthen its capacity to effectively tackle economic and financial crimes.
He called for a thorough probe of the circumstances surrounding the alleged pursuit of Zamfara State Governor, Mr Dauda Lawal, by the EFCC on the alleged $9 billion he purportedly laundered for Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke.
This, he explained, was while his case was still pending before the Supreme Court, adding that following his victory in the apex court, the EFCC swiftly shifted its focus to his political rival, former Gov Bello Matawale.
Matawale now serves as the Minister of State for Defence.