Prosecuting Agencies Should Act Devoid of Political Interest

Prosecuting Agencies Should Act Devoid of Political Interest

One major challenge of the nation’s democracy, among others, today is the ineffectiveness of the institutions, especially the anti-corruption agencies.

On assumption of office of President Muhammadu Buhari, in 2015, Nigerians were high in hope that he would make real his promise to tackle corruption head on.

Aljazirah NIGERIA recalls that many public officers who had soiled their hands in corrupt practices ran helter-skelter, with some voluntarily returning stolen funds into government purses, while a few turned to fugitives in foreign countries.

But the euphoria did not last long, as public officials soon returned to the trenches, with reports of looting and misappropriation.

However, one of the anti-corruption agencies, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in executing its task has investigated 31 governors for corruption and taken 11 of them to court.

Meanwhile, it only recorded two convictions, former governors Jolly Nyame of Taraba and Joshua Dariye of Plateau, whose prison terms were upheld by the Supreme Court. They were pardoned without completing their sentences.

Nigerians still await  the pending cases of former Anambra State governor, Willie Obiano, who is being investigated by the Commission for his alleged involvement in a suspected N42 billion fraud case and misuse of public funds.

Former Zamfara State Governor Abdulazizi-Yarin was on several occasions grilled by the EFCC for alleged illegal financial dealings in attempt to move N300 billion from a corporate account in a new generation bank. But he has never been taken to court.

Also in the list is Theodore Orji, former Abia State governor, who was arrested in August 2021. Mr Orji and his sons, Chinedu and Ogbonna, are under EFCC investigation for alleged misappropriation of public funds and money laundering.

The ex-governor was alleged to have received N500 million monthly as security vote for eight years as governor of Abia between 2007 and 2015.

Other allegations against him include alleged mismanagement of a N2 billion Ecological Fund and mismanagement of Sure-P Funds.

Former Governor of Nassarawa State, Tanko Al-Makura and his wife were arrested on suspicion of involvement in dirty money flow.

About 55 accounts controlled by the couple and their companies were involved in the suspicious transactions, amounting to billions of naira, when Al-Makura was governor.

The first hint of graft allegations against former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio was in 2015.

He was accused of diverting over N100 billion from the oil-rich state, an allegation which he has denied.

He was also alleged to have   acquired some multi-billion assets through surrogates and withdrew about N18 billion from the state’s Federal Accounts Allocation Committee in tranches of N10 million and above, and spent over N50 billion state funds during the 2015 general elections.

Former Kwara State governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed is also under the Commission’s investigation for alleged diversion of N9 billion from the coffers of the Kwara State government while in office between 2011 and 2019.

Aliyu Wamakko, former Sokoto state governor is under investigation for alleged misappropriation of over the N15 billion left by his predecessor Mr Bafarawa allegedly left behind in the government’s coffers.

AljazirahNIGERIA is of the position that until the various pending cases before the EFCC are trashed and nipped in the bud to a logical conclusion, and culprits are brought to book, public officials would continue with acts of corruption.

As the nation moves to another general elections, Nigerians should scrutinise those vying for elections and vote only those with neat profiles.

Corruption has remained the bane of development in the country. It is the reason for poor health care delivery, unemployment, poor infrastructure, and all other vices the country is faced with.

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