Olukoyede Tasks CSOs on Greater Commitment to Anti-Graft War

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Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ola Olukoyede, has charged Civil Society Organizations, CSOs, across the country to be more resolute and committed to the fight against economic and financial crimes and other acts of corruption.

He gave the charge in Abuja on Monday, December 4, 2023 at an interactive meeting with key leaders of CSOs in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT,  held at the corporate headquarters of the EFCC.

Olukoyede reminded the CSOs of their obligation and bounden duties to the nation and the need to be responsive to the need for accountability and support for anti-corruption initiatives. “… 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.

 The EFCC’s boss further noted that most of the petitions coming to the EFCC and other anti-corruption bodies are always channeled through CSOs. “I look at the petitions that are coming  to us,  eighty percent 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 added.

He stated that his leadership of the EFCC is hinged on a three-pronged agenda, which are, proper focus and definition of the basis of anti-corruption fight, professionalism of the work force and strict adherence to the rule of law. “The focus of any fight against economic and financial crimes is to stimulate growth and development in the economy.  We will work in such a way that business concerns will be able to create jobs by removing threats to businesses.  We will ensure that the image of our nation improves significantly because we will not allow those giving us a bad name to continue. I tell you all over the world where they have a strong presence of anti-corruption agencies, they make an impact by what they contribute to the economic development,” he said.

 “The second agenda is to work professionally.  An average EFCC operative should earn the respect of Nigerians through his professionalism.  The third agenda is to adhere strictly to the rule of law in the course of our assignments.  I told my people that we are going to enforce our law, very strictly and very swiftly, but in getting results, the process through which we get results matters. If we discover  companies that are deliberately set up to destroy our economy, to exploit us, we are going to shut them down, we are going to enforce the law”, he said. He called on CSOs to join the EFCC in achieving its mandate of ridding the country of economic and financial crimes and other acts of corruption.

In a response, Auwal musa Rafsanjani,  Coordinator,  Civil Society Legislative Advocacy, CISLAC stated that the EFCC is a natural partner to any civil society organization that is serious and warned CSOs to desist from joining any fraudulent politician or system. “Any civil society that is supporting any fraudulent politician or any fraudulent system, I don’t think that is a civil society. Therefore we will always support you, we will always encourage you to do the right thing and whenever we have any credible information, we will pass it across  to you”, he said.

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