Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibrahim Magu, has vowed to tackle fraud related to elections as the frenzy of elections envelops the country, stressing that the commission will monitor and investigate alleged looted money that might be used to fund the 2019 general elections.
The boss of the anti-graft agency issued this threat on Wednesday during an interactive session with members of the media during the presentation of the commission’s scorecard entitled “Milestones in Nigeria’s Fight Against Corruption(2015-2018). He added that the agency has made modest achievements in monitoring elections funds which had hitherto led to gross financial abuse and perversion of the electoral process and consequently enthroned bad leadership which in turn led to corruption and bad governance.
“With our modest achievement in this area, I can assure you that our politicians will be more circumspect as we go into the next general election. And our people have all to gain in this process of disinfecting the electoral process by monitoring the financing of elections because it will help to improve good governance when good candidates are elected – not money bags,” he said.
The EFCC boss said further that the commission is monitoring bank transactions of alleged looters and is working in collaboration with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other agencies to curb the menace of vote buying.
He bemoaned the menace of corruption on the nation’s political and social fabric and tasked the media and the Nigerian people to take ownership of the anti- corruption war to save the nation before corruption kills it, even as he drew a correlation between corruption and poverty, the social dysfunction and the deficit infrastructure in the country.
He noted that Nigerians are tired of seeing people laundering money and hiding in foreign banks and pointed out that the commission has marshaled out a collaborative strategy to stop them, saying“so there is no hiding place for looters.”
He explained that the collaborative efforts of the commission and other international anti-graft agencies are yielding results as the commission has arrested, prosecuted and secured over 158 convictions. “People’s in various countries are being sensitized on the menace of these criminal looters,” he said.
On the issue of the fugitive former chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina, who was allegedly reinstated into service and given double promotion with undeserved emoluments, Magu noted that Maina is still on the run and on the watch list of the commission. He added that all those fingered in Maina’s reinstatement into office are being prosecuted.
He lamented what he called “a campaign of calumny” by corrupt persons who have enormous resources to distort cases against them, even as he maintained that the commission will not be deterred in its efforts to chase the looters, no matter how highly placed.
Innocent Odoh, Abuja