The Civil Society Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) Condemns Violent Attack on Facility and Threat to Lives of Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)
The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), the National Contact for Transparency International condemns in totality, the unwarranted but suppressed attack by an unknown armed group on the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC)’s facilities on the 16th of August with subsequent death threat against the Commission’s operatives.
Recalling that only in June 2017, an operative in the Fraud Section of the Commission’s Zonal Office in Port Harcourt, Wilson Uwujaren was also attacked by yet to be identified gunmen, CISLAC notes with grave concern and utmost dismay the emerging trend where officials of the Commission are singled out as targets by armed individuals and/or groups in the course of their duty and service to the nation, signaling the obstinate nature of the deep-seated menace of corruption fighting back.
While, in recent times, the on-going war against corruption has continued to yield appreciable impact with looted whopping sums traced, intercepted and repatriated through various anti-graft activities including whistleblowing, we are not unaware that the recent open display of mischief at EFCC Office located at Wuse Zone 7, Abuja by the unknown armed group was predominantly a ridiculous effort to frustrate the fight against corruption in the country.
We are disturbed but not surprised at such sponsored immorality and dubious move by some individuals or groups to divert the Commission’s attention and frighten anti-graft operatives from the progressive struggles at digging deep into and uprooting the major corruption cases in recent times.
As observed in the past, ethno-religious narratives are resulted to whip up sentiments in an attempt to distract citizens from demanding more accountability from government and also cause divisionary fronts as to how to channel our national energies to focus on national development.
CISLAC, by this, enjoins all well-meaning citizens to eschew such distractions, adding that good governance is for the good and benefit of all citizens irrespective of tribe, religion or creed.
We find it worrisome that instead of collective encouragement and support towards upholding successes against corruption for the betterment of all citizens and progress of our beloved country, some unpatriotic individuals or groups have resulted to engage the service of armed bandits to backpedal anti-corruption gains with a wide threat to suppress anti-graft operatives under a susceptible tension to halt recurring investigative activities.
The gruesome attack on the Commission was glaringly nothing but an endorsement of its commendable efforts in waging war against corruption in all ramifications which must be supported, upheld and sustained by all well-meaning Nigerians for socio-economic development and prosperity of the country.
We call on the EFCC never to succumb to threat or intimidation by any person or group, but instead strengthen the fight against corruption through enhanced strategies and support for whistleblowing activities.
We demand proactive legislative process to hasten the passage of Whistleblower Protection Bill to discourage potential victimisation against whistle-blowers; continuous legislative oversight activities to interrogate corruption without fear or favour; and vibrant judicial system for judicious prosecution of corruption and appropriate interpretation of anti-graft legislation.
The need for forging synergies in addressing the monster of corruption is more than ever before needed in the country. We by this means call on the Federal Government to see this attack as a wake-up call to redouble its efforts in the anti-graft war, adding that the Legislative Arm of Government and indeed the Judiciary cannot afford to be either lukewarm or unsupportive at this critical time of our national development.
As efforts of nation building remains a lifelong task and ridding the country of all vestiges of corrupt individuals also remains a task for all, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), the media, and the critical mass of society must ensure that due track is maintained of all public officers demanding responsive and accountable governance from individuals who hold office in trust for citizens.
CISLAC, a contact for Transparency International (TI) in Nigeria on its part reiterate commitment to the anti-corruption drive in Nigeria and will continue to advocate for institutional and operational strengthening of all relevant Anti Corruption Agencies (ACAs) in carrying out their statutory mandate.
We by this means call on the international community to also play its role in ensuring that very high profile individuals fingered in corruption cases and illicit financial activities are made to feel uneasy wherever and whenever they can.
We further encourage the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbanjo on continuous support and enabling policy environment for anti-graft institutions to successfully uphold and sustain the on-going war against corruption in the country.
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