Anti-graft Agency Reiterates Commitment To Fight Corruption

By Salihu Ali, Abuja

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Nigeria’s Anti-graft Agency the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC has expressed its determination not to be distracted in the fight against corruption. 

The commission also reassured Nigerians of full respect for the judiciary while observing its constitutional responsibility.

The spokesperson for the commission, Mr Wilson Uwujaren made the commitment on behalf of the Executive Chairman of the commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa in Abuja Nigeria’s capital while reacting to the protest in Lagos State, seeking to discredit the Chairman of EFCC and inciting the public against the Commission.

Some groups had staged street protests, calling for the sack of the EFCC Chairman for alleged disobedience of court orders.

While reacting to the protest, Uwujaren said, EFCC as a law-abiding institution, “has conducted all its activities within the ambit of the law and where judicial decisions were made against it, it has never resorted to self-help but availed itself of remedies under the law as it did in the instant case of committal orders of the court.”

Uwujaren while explaining the circumstances around the two committal orders against the EFCC Chairman pointed out that, the first order of November 8, 2022, was made in respect of a 2018 judgment, three years before Bawa became Chairman of the EFCC.

Spokesperson for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, Mr Wilson Uwujaren

 

He said that as soon as Bawa became aware of the judgment in June 2022, he directed the release of the seized assets, a Sport Utility Vehicle to the applicant and activated the process for the release of the sum of N40 million to the applicant in compliance with the court ruling.

Uwuaren said this gesture does not show contempt for the court or the judiciary which he holds in great esteem.

Fair hearing 

Meanwhile, on the case of the last order by a Kogi State High Court, Uwujaren explained that the court, in invoking Form 49, failed to take cognizance of a pending appeal of its ruling of November 30, which directed the Commission to produce a fraud suspect, one Ali Bello.

He said, “It also failed to transmit records of appeal to the Court of Appeal.”

Uwujaren believes that “the Commission was denied fair hearing as the alleged infringement of the rights of the applicant happened in Abuja, a location outside the jurisdiction of the Kogi High court.”

The EFCC’S spokesperson added that, as a law-abiding institution, EFCC approached the appellate court, for a stay of execution.

This is a valid and lawful remedy by law and does not evoke any aura of impunity or disregard for the judiciary”.

The EFCC’S spokesperson urged the public to disregard the group adding that, “their allusion to disobedience of court orders by the EFCC chairman is an alibi to manipulate facts around judicial pronouncements and processes to pitch the public against the Commission.”

The EFCC spokesman believes that “information available to the Commission, indicates that the group is sponsored by persons under investigation by the Commission and have been mobilized and mandated by their paymaster to embarrass the person of the chairman through choreographed street protests across the country until he is removed from office.”

 

 

 

 

Emmanuel Ukoh