EFCC has lost its essence, Ajulo laments …asks Tinubu to set up Task Force to unmask corrupt elements 

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Dr. Kayode Ajulo

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Kayode Ajulo, on Monday, said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission seems to have lost the essence for which it was created and has now allegedly turned into a political tool.

He also restated his call for President Bola Tinubu to set up a presidential task force to unmask officials of the EFCC involved in corrupt practices.

The anti-graft agency boss, Ola Olukoyede, had during his New Year address to staff members, raised the alarm about the craze for gratification and bribes among the commission’s investigators.

But speaking on Arise TV on Monday, the lawyer said it was surprising that the EFCC boss only admitted that some of his investigators are taking bribes without properly weeding out such personnel.

He maintained that since the EFCC has failed to cleanse itself, the President should swing into action and set up a task force to carry out integrity tests on the agency.

Ajulo said, “You are saying your operators are demanding bribe and you’ve seen some people, the next thing is to go after them, reveal them, and get them off the hook.

“But maybe he (Olukoyede) is powerless. Maybe the EFCC cannot cleanse itself. If the EFCC cannot cleanse itself, the right thing to do is that we have to agree that the EFCC is a critical institution in this country and we can’t allow it to falter. And maybe the president should set up a presidential task force to ensure that the right thing is done.

 

“There is a need to clean and weed out the corrupt tendencies, power and principalities that have made EFCC not to fly. The essence of the task force is not something that will be permanent. Its essence is more like an auditing and integrity test to check who are those people (corrupt officials) and bring back EFCC to its real mandate.

“The early times are when the EFCC worked as it should. Gradually, it is so clear that the EFCC has already abdicated its responsibility and the very essence which it was created seems to have been lost particularly by the operators of the EFCC.

“As of today, there are many instances that when you look, investigate, and interrogate what played out, you’d find out that it is purely political. Now, EFCC has apparently turned itself into a political tool and this has to stop.”

He added that the alleged retrogression had made Nigerians lose trust in the country’s flagship antigraft agency.

The SAN added, “There are times when, as a lawyer, your client will tell you ‘I want my matter to go to EFCC’ because they know 100 per cent they will have recourse and one way or the other they would be happy because whatsoever may be their complaint would be met.

“But today, when the matter does not have any political coloration, or whenever those involved are not politically exposed persons, that’s when they will tell you to go back to the police. They’re always excited to grandstand and go on media trial and do all those sorts of things.”

Credit – punch

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