“EFCC is a Country within a Country” [George Uboh’s quote on Channels TV on August 27, 2015 a day after appearing at the Senate against the EFCC]
George Uboh has come out to speak on what he called a “tenuous excuse, explanation and blame-shifting” by the EFCC in its defense on the issue of NFIU’s autonomy/heteronomy, the condition precedent to being a member of the prestigious Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs).
What is the Egmont Group:
The Egmont Group of Financial Intelligent Units (FIU) consists of over 150 countries who share financial intelligence on suspicious financial transactions in order to combat money laundering, terrorism etc.
This unit MUST be AUTONOMOUS in all participating countries, failure of which will lead to SUSPENSION (Nigeria has recently been suspended), then EXPUNCTION if the sacrosanct issue of autonomy is not rectified within six months. Nigeria may be expunged by 2018 if the issue is not resolved.
NFIU/EFCC IN NIGERIA
EFCC’s Tenuous Explanation, Excuse and Blame Shifting:
Nigeria became FIU complaint in 2007 hence the name Nigerian Financial Intelligent Unit (NFIU). Since its inception, the NFIU has been domiciled under the EFCC, and has been under the control of the EFCC.
The EFCC committed these cardinal sins knowingly and intentionally since 2007 as EFCC’s current statements and Uboh’s documents would show.
In EFCC’s statement published by premium times on or about July 19, 2017, EFCC stated:
“The Egmont Group specifically wants Section 1(2)(c) of the EFCC Establishment Act which makes the EFCC the designated Financial Intelligence Unit to be amended, and create the NFIU as an autonomous unit under the EFCC.”
The above statement elicited by the EFCC is a clear indictment of the EFCC by the EFCC.
EFCC is the organization that flagrantly disregarded the rule of the Egmont Group when it created a heteronomous relationship with the NFIU via the act, a cardinal sin against the Egmont Group.
Why would same EFCC that inflicted the wounds on itself turn around to say that Juliet Ibekaku and some unnamed Nigerians petitioned the Egmont Group, opining that the so-called petitions premised the Egmont Group’s investigation of the EFCC/NFIU relationship?
Does the above offense EFCC committed need any petitioning to trigger investigation of the EFCC when you can go online and read Section 1(2)(c) of the EFCC establishment act, the facts of the predicate offense?
EFCC further states: “What is happening to NFIU is not strange or peculiar to Nigeria.
“Germany suffered a similar fate when its FIU was placed on suspension after it was moved from the German Police where it had been domiciled, to the Custom”.
If I were to agree without conceding to EFCC’s claim, I do not think the German Police took steps in creating a heteronomous relationship with its FIU through German police act.
EFCC fails to realize that creating a heteronomous relationship with NFIU through the EFCC act shows intent, same ingredient of offense EFCC must prove in order to convict suspects for fraud.
Letters and Approval linking Lamorde, Adoke and Jonathan to NFIU/EFCC Saga, and showing EFCC defied President Jonathan.
After going through the three boxes of evidence I amassed against the EFCC, I dug up a trail of evidence on EFCC/NFIU explained in chronology below:
a) A November 12, 2013 letter former EFCC Chairman Lamorde wrote to former Attorney-General Adoke requesting that Juliet Ibekaku be redeployed from her position as DG NFIU to Director Legal at EFCC, and that Francis Usani be redeployed from Director Legal at EFCC to the position of DG NFIU.
b) Based on Lamorde’s request, Adoke wrote President Jonathan on April 11, 2014 recommending Emmanuel Akomaye, former Secretary to EFCC for the position of DG NFIU.
c) On April 14, 2014, President Jonathan APPROVED Emmanuel Akomaye as DG NFIU via a memo signed by Matt Aikhionbare, SSA to President Jonathan, administration.
d) In the letters from Lamorde to Adoke and Adoke to Jonathan, both Lamorde and Adoke clearly stated that the bill to make NFIU autonomous was under way in the 7th Senate.
TAKEAWAYS FROM THE LETTERS: EFCC IS BIGGER THAN NIGERIA
For Lamorde/EFCC to have any form of input in the appointment of NFIU DG further demonstrates that NFIU is clearly under the control of the EFCC.
The President, knowing that NFIU is supposed to be autonomous, should neither have entertained any recommendation for the position of DG NFIU from the EFCC nor appointed any serving or former staff of EFCC as NFIU DG, given the warnings from the Egmont Group regarding EFCC’s influence over the NFIU.
If Jonathan has approved the appointment of Akomaye as DG NFIU, why would the EFCC not comply with such approval, but instead appointed Usani as NFIU DG, a position he still holds today.
EFCC is simply bigger than any President, hence I coined the phrase when I took the EFCC/Lamorde to the Senate in 2015: “EFCC is a Country within a Country”.