Former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo is reported to have dismissed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as a toothless bulldog. At an event to mark his birthday, he said that the agency has seen its best days. And for him those days were during his administration when Nuhu Ribadu was the chairman of the anti-graft agency.
To most discerning minds, EFCC in the administration of Obasanjo was, essentially, a political attack dog used by him to haunt his perceived enemies. Ribadu did his best to cope with the overbearing political interference and manipulation which almost compromised the good job he set out to do.
In our opinion, Obasanjo could not be referring to the tenure of Ibrahim Magu which is operating in line with the disposition of the Muhammadu Buhari’s government and its zero tolerance for corruption. If his allegation has to do with the era of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), then he could be excused. Certainly not under Magu. In the past eight months or thereabout, a re-energised EFCC under Magu has not only restored the confidence of Nigerians in the agency but, even more importantly, has driven the fear of God into the minds of political office holders. The erstwhile habit of doing things with impunity has been curbed substantially.
In the present dispensation especially with the Armsgate, Nigerians have seen top ranking retired military officers and otherwise influential politicians reined in with actionable evidence. Even the international community has commended the activities of the agency under Magu’s leadership citing them as proof of President Buhari’s commitment to ridding Nigeria of corrupt influences. If the agency has not recorded any convictions so far it is because of the intricacies of the judicial process which Magu has complained about publicly. And to demonstrate his disgust with what is happening at the bar and bench, two senior advocates of Nigeria have been arraigned by EFCC for corrupt obstruction of justice.
We are worried that Obasanjo finds it below his status to accept that another leader has achieved anything. We note that the former president laid the foundation of the monster that PDP became. It was also on his watch that the siege on the nation’s treasury started.
It is pertinent to suggest to EFCC to prove to Obasanjo that it is not a toothless bulldog. Perhaps, it is time for the anti-graft agency to reopen the Halliburton files, the power sector files and the alleged waste of $16 billion as well as the files of the Abacha loot that has remained unaccounted for.
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