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Grand Corruption: Tinubu Should Probe Why EFCC Failed To Deposit Seized Funds With CBN


Something is definitely wrong with Nigeria’s accounting system. Despite having existed as an independent nation for more than six decades, we still do not have a transparent mode of preparing and presenting an account of the revenue and expenditure of the country, as well as the federating units. All we have is an annual appropriation act that is usually operated in breach.

The recently released 2020 audited accounts of some branches of the Federal Government, as well as the various agencies, stink. Perhaps the worst of the highlight is the audit report on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The commission, in the course of performing its duties had recovered as much as N40 billion as proceeds of fraud before 2016. However, the Auditor-General of the Federation (AuGF) pointed out that there was no record of any money recovered between 2016 and 2019. A puzzle. The question is; what happened? What went wrong? Where was the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF) during the period? This is simply unacceptable.  It is impunity taken too far. Besides the AGF, is the National Assembly not supposed to oversight the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs)? What role did the lawmakers, representatives of the people, play?

It is appalling that the report of the MDAs for that period is just ready. We may not blame it all on the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation because some MDAs usually do not cooperate. They fail to prepare their reports as and when required, and thereafter are tardy in responding to audit queries. And, for so long, no one has been calling them to order.

For a country carrying so much load as Nigeria, where so much is going wrong as a result of paucity of funds, it is sheer wickedness that those put in charge of the accounts have chosen the path of recklessness and impunity in managing national resources.

The EFCC is the watchdog of all public servants and officers in terms of rational use of resources. It was established as an anti-corruption agency to ensure that the machinery of government does not grind to a halt, owing to lack of lubrication. It is therefore unpardonable that the said agency did not remit money recovered to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). This must not be swept under the carpet. The watchdog must be probed.

 By the way, the report of Justice Ayo Salami’s investigation into the tenure of former EFCC chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, has not been made public. This is one of the things that encourage corruption and impunity in the land. While no one could say something went wrong during the period, the fact that such a high profile panel was instituted and funded with public funds suggests that the report must be made public. Besides, Magu who was suspended never returned to his office. He was not indicted, tried or exculpated. The last EFCC chairman, too, was relieved of his office and detained for months. What happened? We don’t know. This is certainly not the way to run a country, let alone fight corruption.

President Bola Tinubu has a duty to institute a system-wide reform. This should start by making public all previous probe reports. All those found culpable in this instance must be brought to justice to serve as deterrence to others who may want to toe the same line. It is not enough to review the wage structure or pay workers living wage, everyone must be made to earn their pay, and those found to have dipped their hands in the public till have no business continuing in office.

It cannot be business as usual again. Any further encouragement of festering corruption can only further push the ship of state towards the rock. Nigeria must not crash. We must save the ship of this state.(Nation)

Source: Hardcore News (Headline)

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