A few weeks ago, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Paul Arkwright, visited the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr Ibrahim Magu, in Abuja,where he commended the EFCC for its efforts at fighting corruption.
Before leaving, however, the British envoy had a solemn word of advice for his host.
He said, “INEC and EFCC should be there to preserve the integrity of the political process, including taking forward investigations without any prejudice on one side or the other, following the evidence and taking action where it is justified.”
Magu told his host that the commission would not take sides with any political party or group.
I assure you that there is no political interference in what we do. We will continue to work with stakeholders like INEC which we have an agreement with to ensure that there is no interference to ensure a free and fair election in Nigeria
“We do not invite anybody here if he is not found to be involved in one offence or crime and that is why when you come here, it takes a lot of effort to be off the chain. Whatever case that comes to the EFCC is investigated to a logical conclusion. We take the case to court which gives the final decision.”
However, the Peoples Democratic Party disagreed with the EFCC, which has been investigating the source of the PDP’s campaign funding since 2015, detaining or arraigning over 30 people who served in the last PDP government.
The Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, believes only those in the PDP are targeted by the EFCC while those who defect are given a clean bill of health.
In a statement which was written in reaction to the British envoy’s warning, Secondus said rather than encourage states who are seriously involved in the delivery of the dividends of democracy to their people, the ruling APC has been conniving with the relevant agencies to be harassing contractors ostensibly to frustrate and slow them down in their development strides.
He said, “Contractors in Taraba and Rivers states as well as other PDP states are being harassed by the EFCC operatives and are being arm-twisted to implicate the PDP leaders.
“Intelligence is available to the party that the ruling party and the Federal Government have resolved to ensure that the PDP states are permanently put on their toes so as not to get their bearing ahead of 2019.
“It would be clear to the world and discerning minds that the PDP governors are doing fantastic jobs executing projects that touch the lives of their people unlike their APC counterparts