Stakeholders in the anti-corruption war in Ibadan, Oyo State, on Wednesday, 13th January, 2016, expressed satisfaction with the works of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), and assured it of their continued support.
The assurances were given to the acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Mustafa Magu who was on a working visit to the Oyo State capital.
Magu solicited the support, guidance, and collaboration of all stakeholders in Oyo State. At the office of the state Chief Judge, he stressed that, “we are partners in the task of ridding the nation of corrupt practices. We all have a stake in the fight for the sake of the nation. We should be prepared to give our today for the tomorrow of our children”. He specifically requested for the designation of some judges to hear EFCC cases. Magu also formally informed the judges of the opening of a Zonal office of the EFCC in Ibadan and assured them that the Commission would transfer all the cases relating to their zone to the new office.
The Chief Judge of Oyo State, Justice Muntai Ladipo Abimbola scored the EFCC high in its handling of economic and financial crimes and assured that trial of suspects of corrupt practices will accorded more attention. “We in the Judiciary are committed to ensure we offer ourselves in cooperation to EFCC officers, to ensure that offenders are tried within the shortest possible time. We pledge to uphold all the tenet of trial and international best practices and to ensure that justice is for all, not only must it be done but manifestly be seen to be doneâ€, he said.
Also, the Solicitor- General and Permanent Secretary in the, Oyo State Ministry of Justice, Prince Adetunji Wasiu Gbadegesin advised that the EFCC should embark on compulsory training of its Legal officers in the act of prosecuting crimes. He also advised the Commission to consider reducing the number of count charges preferred against suspects and pursue plea bargaining in a more practical way.
At the Department of State Services, Oyo State Command, Magu reiterated his call for cooperation and expressed the desire of the EFCC to work with the Service. In response, Director of State Security, Oyo State Command, L. B. Baba assured the EFCC of collaboration and support. “I am an apostle of synergy. No agency can go it alone. Nobody knows it all. The era of competition is gone and gone for good. It is now the era of cooperation, collaboration, synergy. We have to do it together, because we save time, achieve better result and become more efficient and more effective. In the business of collaboration, we are all one,” he said.
The same assurance was given by the Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Leye Oyebade. According to him, the EFCC and the Nigeria Police are fighting the same monster of corruption and must work together. “The success of the EFCC is the pride of the Nigeria police. I want to say that we are going to work together because an adage in Yoruba says: ‘when the right hand and the left hand wash each other together, it makes the two hands to be clean.’ The idea is that we are pursuing the same objectives, to sanitize the society, to ensure that the programmes of the government is not derailed by corrupt practices and tendencies of some unscrupulous people, and when we have opportunity to nip them in the bud, we will do the needful”, he said.
Magu also visited Tribune House, publisher of the Nigerian Tribune titles. There, he sought more collaboration and positive reporting of the activities of the EFCC. According to him, “Corruption is a social malaise…… The African Newspapers of Nigeria has serious roles to play in sensitizing Nigerians to the evils of corruption, alerting them about the fraudulent practices of those found to be corrupt and educating members of the society on the preventive ways of checking shady practices. This is a task we want you to take up more seriously and we solicit your cooperation in this regard”.
In response, the Editor- In- Chief of the Tribune titles, Mr. Edward Dickson commended the EFCC for its relentless war on all forms of economic and financial crimes and assured the Commission of objective and positive coverage of its activities.
The opening of the Zonal office of the EFCC formed the basis of the working visit of the acting Chairman to the state and the office is now on stream. Head of Operations of the new office, Mr. Oseni Kazeem assured that the office will run in the widely acclaimed tradition of the EFCC.