The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL), on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, listed its expectations from Abdulrasheed Bawa, the new Chairman of EFCC.
In a statement it issued on Tuesday, CACOL highlighted some of its key expectations to ensure proper performance and service delivery by the EFCC chair.
The body said it would have preferred that Bawa was investigated by ICPC instead of Senate, as that would have given an unbiased report which would have ultimately cleared him of all the allegations.
The statement reads:
We would like to start by congratulating you on your appointment as the Chairman of EFCC though we were not convinced enough with your explanations and self defense on the floor of the House concerning the various allegations levelled against you.
It would have made a lot of sense if an independent body like ICPC has investigated the allegations and come up with their unbiased report thereby clearing you of all the allegations.
Nevertheless, if members of the Upper House of the Senate Chamber have found you worthy to lead the Anti-Corruption agency, we are left with no other choice than to work with you in a bid to stamp out corruption from our great country, Nigeria.
As the new Chairman of the Anti-Corruption Agency, we would like you to work assiduously and surpass the achievements of your predecessors in the following areas:
1. Investigation of corruption cases without fear or favour
2. Staff training and retraining
3. Protection of EFCC officials especially those on the field
4. Speedy investigation and prosecution of corruption cases in a competent court of law
5. Ensure that the dichotomy between the police-trained personnel and the EFCC-trained personnel is removed because it could lead to a rebellion within the commission
6. Normalize the working relationships between staffers and ensure all staffers are adequately motivated so that they can put in their very best.
7. Be transparent and accountable in all your dealings and operations.
8. Ensure that investigations are thorough and investigators should be protected and insured.
9. Work in synergy with other anti-corruption and law enforcement agencies.
10. Be firm when dealing with politicians. Desist from pandering to the dictates of godfathers, especially the office of the Minister of Justice, because in most cases that is where the problem of the EFCC chairman begins.
11. You should also avoid favouritism in the posting of officers so that they would have a sense of belonging and you should try as much as possible not allow nepotism to becloud your sense of judgment.
12. Speedy investigation of petitions with adequate feedback forwarded to the petitioner(s). We are particularly concerned about this because till today we have not received any feedback from your Agency on all the petitions sent to the Agency in the past.
We are still at limbo concerning our petitions on Diezani Alison-Madueke, James Ibori and Mohammed Bello Adoke to mention but a few.
It is interesting to note that while we as the Petitioner were not given any feedback on our petition against the former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, we were able to read about the petition in his book ‘My watch’ where he made derogatory comments about our efforts aimed at exposing corruption cases.
We believe you know how endemic corruption has stagnated the glorious destiny of this great country and how it has retarded the growth and development of the country.
It is worthy of note that available records and statistics have pointed out that over USD500bn (Five Hundred Billion Dollars) have been syphoned or laundered as economic crimes in Nigeria between our independence as a nation in 1960 and 2018.
You could then imagine what social services and infrastructure could have been provided were such colossal sums not pilfered by those entrusted with public services.
We would want to advise you to be firm and avoid unwholesome baits by corrupt elements, including politicians, whom you will always come across in the cause of your new assignment. We would also implore you to steer clear of mouthwatering offers from those who are already under investigation, prosecution or those who have the potential to commit financial crimes.
Moreover, we urge you not to disappoint the army of Nigerian youths that have been looking for younger persons to occupy the position of responsibility. You should prove to them that you can do far better than the old folks even though some of us believe that experience never runs out of fashion.
Though it sounds mundane, the past chairmen of EFCC had been Northern Muslims and Mr. President has been arrogantly defiant by appointing you, another Northern Muslim, we believe you cannot afford to embarrass the President because he had risked all he could by giving you the opportunity to serve in this exalted position.
Finally, we urge you to build on the good legacies laid by your predecessors and try as much as possible to surpass them thereby etching your name with gold on the sands of time.