Is Corruption really fighting back or is it a case of ineptitude on the part of the relevant agencies charged with fighting corruption?
This issue has always been on my mind and today it came to the fore when I engaged with a friend regarding corruption and Nigeria. Our focus was on EFCC (Economic and Financial Crime Commission), with their latest discovery of cash at a location in Osborne, Ikoyi.
I was of the opinion that the EFCC is a toothless bull dog who engages in barking a lot but my friend insisted that whilst the EFCC do have their short comings but the blame goes to the judiciary.
Inadvertently the FBI was mentioned and my friend decided to share with me some tweets from popular activist Omojuwa who “derided the low funding of EFCC and juxtaposed their budget with that of the FBI”.
This got me laughing because apparently it is a no brainer comparing both agencies, as their scope of duties, their jurisdiction and their modus operandi vary a lot, more so the judiciary system these agencies have to work with.
That is an argument for another day, as today we are discussing the EFCC and the high profile cases it lost within 96 hours.
Obasanjo believes that EFCC has been losing due to lawyers hired to prosecute cases, poor investigations and the judiciary, he puts it succinctly here : “So it is a line: investigation, prosecution and the judiciary. If there is a weakness along this line, chances are that corruption cases will be lost”.
And I support this, I mean you have to build an airtight case before you proceed to court, but what we have seen has been basically a media trial.
With its recent raid at Ikoyi, EFCC are yet to announce the owner of the seized cash, a situation which has allowed the media to propound theories which unfortunately is not going to help anybody.
Kudos of course to the EFCC for their discoveries, but so far, no one has been jailed, no one is answering for anything, we do not even know the source of these monies being recovered.
Were the monies embezzled? Or are they just gifts as claimed by the man from Kaduna? It is not enough for the EFCC to engage in paparazzi and then end up losing where it matters most- the court of law. We need the EFCC to carry out thorough investigations for each discovery they make before coming to the public with it.
The EFCC should be able to provide us with full details like the name of the person involved, the amount, and how the person got the money, not a charade that sees both EFCC and the media engage in a spectacle that leads nowhere.
Of course there are mitigating factors that might hinder EFCC from prosecuting looters of the treasury, but we have to understand that building an airtight case will reduce the cases lost by the anti corruption agency, thus bringing hope that Nigeria will be rid of the scourge of corruption eventually.