Foremost whistleblower and chairman, George Uboh Whistleblowers Network, Dr. George Uboh has stated that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] looms larger and waxes stronger than any individual or office in Nigeria and is intimidating the Muhammadu Buhari presidency.
Dr. Uboh said categorically that “EFCC is a country within a country”, hence cannot be reprimanded, prosecuted, or its staff removed even by a sitting president.
The anti-corruption fighter was speaking on an Abuja-based station where he x-rayed law enforcement agencies.
Uboh recounted several incidences where the anti-graft agency defied direct presidential orders and countermanded directives from superior organs of the government.
He cited, amongst others, the EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission [ICPC]’s refusal to hand over files on ex-governors to Attorney-General of the federation [AGF] and Minister for Justice, Abubakar Malami.
He also recounted how EFCC for years hijacked the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) hence turned a prestigious global unit meant to be autonomous heteronomous.
That NFIU hijack eventually led to Nigeria being suspended from the Egmont group last month.
Established in 1995, the objectives of Egmont Group are to foster international collaboration in the exchange of intelligence by member states and set standards on best practices for FIUs.
It also supports and influences the work of FATF as it relates to the mandate of FIUs under FATF Recommendations.
NFIU is the Nigerian arm of the global Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) domiciled within the EFCC as an autonomous unit and operating in the African Region.
It was admitted into the Egmont Group of FIUs in 2007 during the President Olusegun Obasanjo administration.
Uboh, therefore, lamented that it seems we got it wrong ab initio in giving these agencies sweeping powers to investigate, prosecute, seize, forfeit, recover and, in the case of EFCC, assert perpetual dominion over recovered assets.
Ho wondered how an agency under the auspices of judicial administration would refuse to hand over case files to an Attorney-General of the federation and Minister for Justice.
He also recalled that EFCC has failed to remit 1.993 trillion Naira to the federal government coffers per his allegations backed by overwhelming and irrefutable evidence since 2013.
Elombah.com had, in previous article, reported how the former EFCC chairman, Mr Ibrahim Lamorde defied the order from the then president, Mr Goodluck Jonathan and appointed Mr Francis Usani as the NFIU DG instead of Mr Emmanuel Akomaye approved by the president.
Elombah.com is also aware of the undercurrents between the EFCC and the Bayelsa State government that eventually led to the federal government annulling the mandate given to George Uboh to recover missing monies from the state coffers.
Available records showed that EFCC not only defied orders from above but intimidated President Goodluck Jonathan and forced him into cowered submission.
Recently, the able corruption fighter availed the incumbent President Buhari of boundless evidences linking EFCC to massive corruption and volunteered the blueprint to fighting corruption.
Ironically, the president, who premised his campaign efforts almost solely on fighting corruption, not only ignored the proposal but even as well pretended he never saw them even though it was published on major national dailies and online media.
Lastly, despite calls from the Department of State Security [DSS] and The Senate, President Buhari has adamantly refused to let go of the current EFCC chairman, Ibrahim Magu, another evidence that EFCC is holding the president in the jugular.
Even the Acting President, Pro. Yemi Osinbajo has seemingly cowered under the bullying influence of the EFCC, refusing to relieve of Magu of his “acting” appointment.
However, following the sack of ICPC chairman, Mr Ekpo Nta on Tuesday by Osinbajo, it seems the table is finally going to turn against the anti-corruption monolith as palpable fear and uncertainty have been reported in the camp of Ibrahim Magu.
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