HomeNewsEFCC Boss Urges Civil Society to Join Anti-Corruption Crusade

EFCC Boss Urges Civil Society to Join Anti-Corruption Crusade

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The head of Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, Ola Olukoyede, has called on civil society organisations (CSOs) to be more proactive and supportive in the fight against corruption and financial crimes.

Olukoyede, who is the Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), made the call on Monday in Abuja during an interactive meeting with key leaders of CSOs at the EFCC headquarters. He said CSOs have a vital role in promoting accountability and transparency in the public and private sectors, as they are the eyes of the public and the voice of the voiceless.

“You people are the eyes of the public. The public is looking up to you even more than us. That is why they run to you when they see cases, and they ask you to petition cases on their behalf. That is why, as civil societies, of course, you know the status the law has conferred to you, that in every public interest case, you have locus standi,” he said. He added that most of the petitions received by the EFCC and other anti-corruption agencies are from CSOs, which shows their commitment and relevance in the anti-corruption war.

“I look at the petitions that are coming to us, and eighty per cent of them are from the civil society, so assuming we don’t have a serious civil society in Nigeria, you could imagine what would have happened to us in this country,” he said. Olukoyede outlined his three-pronged agenda for leading the EFCC: focusing on the economic impact of anti-corruption efforts, enhancing the professionalism of the workforce, and adhering strictly to the rule of law.

He said the EFCC would work to stimulate economic growth and development by removing threats to businesses and improving the country’s image. He also said the EFCC would ensure that Nigerians respect its operatives for their professionalism and integrity. He further said the EFCC would enforce the law swiftly and strictly without compromising due process and human rights.

He urged the CSOs to partner with the EFCC in achieving its mandate of ridding the country of corruption and financial crimes, and to provide credible information and feedback to the agency. In his response, Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, the Coordinator of the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), said the EFCC is a natural ally of any serious CSO and warned CSOs to avoid being used by fraudulent politicians or systems.

“Any civil society supporting any fraudulent politician or any fraudulent system, I don’t think that is a civil society. Therefore, we will always support you and encourage you to do the right thing, and whenever we have any credible information, we will pass it across to you,” he said. He also commended the EFCC for its achievements and challenges in the fight against corruption and expressed hope that the agency would continue to uphold its values and principles.

Source: Vanguard

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