Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibrahim Magu has urged Nigerians to “take more seriously their watchdog role” over their representatives at the National Assembly.
Magu said this on Thursday during the launch of EFCC’s Clean Hands Campaign at the Eagle Square in Abuja.
He said: “In just six months of this year, we have secured over 140 convictions, including some elusive ‘high profile’ criminals. We have recovered billions of dollars’ worth of stolen funds and blocked numerous avenues of money laundering,” he said.
In his welcome address titled: ‘We Must Win The War on Corruption and Impunity’, he said the EFCC, which “entails confronting looters of the nation’s commonwealth, taking on impunity and restoring hope to the hopeless,” has performed credibly and communicates to Nigerians effectively through “all channels”.
He said the new strategies by EFCC enables Nigerians take direct ownership of the war on corruption.
“Citizens are now more disposed to pre-emptively act against corruption; and where the act has been committed, they are willing to work with EFCC to fish out the criminals,” he said.
“However, in order to ensure that justice is fully served to the victim, the perpetrator and the society, it is important for us all to continue to hold everyone in the justice delivery chain accountable”.
Magu asked Nigerians to mount pressure on the “commission to carry out diligent investigation and prosecution and to inform the people of its activities…and imbibe the culture of ‘living with clean hands” as a way of stamping out corruption from the society.
Also speaking at the event, Oby Ezekwesili, co-convener of the Bring Back Our Girls Campaign, said every Nigerian should be involved in the fight against corruption.
“If any Nigerian is serious at all about the necessity for the greatness of nation, then, he or she must take the fight against corruption seriously. This is because the consequence of not taking the fight against corruption seriously is that the nation will forever be mortgaged,” she said.
“Nigeria is a country that the whole world agreed had incredible potentials to be one of the leading countries of the world. As a matter of fact, at the time of Nigeria’s independence, many around the world took a bet that Nigeria was the black nation that would likely put in hot pursuit all other nations of the world in terms of greatness that it had.
“Sadly, 56 years after Independence, when some of those nations that took a bet on Nigeria look at what has become of the country, they ponder what has gone wrong. But what has gone wrong is what the EFCC has been established to tackle.”
Kayode Oladele, chairman, house committee on financial crimes and anti-corruption, said it was important to start the fight against corruption from the grass root.