Ibrahim Magu, acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has once again stressed that no one will be “untouchable” as the agency intensifies its anti-corruption crusade.
“We are winning the war against corruption, because the age of impunity is over, and never again would anyone be treated as a sacred cow,” he said.
Magu made the declaration at the 20th Anniversary Public Lecture and Award Ceremony of the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria, FICAN, which held at Top Rank Hotel, Utako, Abuja, September 19, 2017.
In his paper titled, Corruption and National Development: Issues, Challenges and Solutions, Magu, who was represented by Tony Orilade, acting Head, EFCC’s Public Interface Unit, pinpointed corruption as the main reason why Nigeria has been unable to fully reach its potential as the Giant of Africa.
“We are blessed with both human and mineral resources. But why have we been unable to explore and exploit our potential to the fullest? Your answer is as good as mine – corruption,” Magu said.
According to him, “anywhere in the world where strict adherence to ethics and values by the citizenry is lacking, there will always be an obvious deficit in morals, which is the antidote to corruption”.
“As far as we are striving to fight corruption to a standstill in Nigeria, sadly, it is fighting back, really hard,” Magu said, stressing that the fight had never been so savage.
Magu noted that such attacks were not only being waged on the pages of newspapers, but also indirect attacks on operatives of the agency. Two of such, he said, occurred on August 16 in Abuja, and June 24 in Port Harcourt, where a top investigator was shot but escaped death by the whiskers.
“This is why I am using this platform and opportunity to call on you all, members of the Fourth Estate of the Realm, to support the fight against corruption,” Magu said, noting that the agency remained unrelenting “in ensuring that we rigorously pursue our mandate of ridding Nigeria of all forms of economic and financial crimes”.
He further urged the members of the Press to explore the power of the pen, “to push for reforms in the judiciary, and society at large, by exposing corrupt elements”.
Bukka Abba, head of publicity, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, in his remarks, commended the doggedness of the EFCC in combating corruption, and described Magu as “transparent and courageous”.
“From day one, Magu has always been accountable and transparent to the core”, Abba said, and called on all Nigerians “to support the EFCC in the fight against corruption”.
Simeon Ogoegbulem, Chairman of FICAN, stressed that as a law-abiding association, it puts the interest of the nation at heart, and never aims at bringing anyone down.
“We seek for your support, we are your friends, call us anytime, and when we make inquiries, it is not to bring you down, but to disseminate accurate information, we don’t engage in blackmail,” Ogoegbulem said.