The recent query issued by the Federal Government to the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu over the corruption charges filed against the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, Danladi Umar, has raised a dust in the way and manner the anti-graft agency and its Boss, conduct their affairs.
In the query, signed on Friday by Dayo Apata, the Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Mr Magu is to explain what informed the filing of corruption charges against the tribunal chairman having been cleared of corruption allegation two times by the same anti-graft agency.
The Senate had on several occasions asked the President Muhammadu Buhari to sack Mr Magu over their claim that the EFCC boss has baggage of corruption allegations tied to his neck.
The upper chamber threatened to boycott all nominations from the Presidency, should Mr Buhari refuses to yield to their request.
Besides that, the EFCC, an institution established to combat graft in all its ramifications across the country, has come under several allegations of misdeed.
According to a source, these underhand dealings are allegedly going on under Mr Magu’s watchful ‘Eagle’ eyes.
Just recently, a staff member of the Maiduguri zonal office of the commission, Habila Buba, was arrested for stealing a case file. He handed over these files to the girlfriend of a suspect who is under investigation.
Attesting to that, the Head of Maiduguri Zonal office, Aminu Aliyu, said Mr Buba who is a detective assistant, and his girlfriend, Keron Lapips, were arrested while trying to make an exchange of the original case file on the condition for payment of money.
Based on the foregoing, the staff members of the commission, who are entrusted with the sensitive and classified materials of the institution, are beginning to fall short of their commitment to service without ‘fear or favour’.
An insider source confirmed to this reporter that, although this issue is one of the few that are reported, so many other mal-practices within the commission are beginning to take their toll almost on a daily basis.
He further said that a staff of Lagos state branch of the commission was recently alleged to have collected N3 million for releasing two suspects.
“Also, an official of the EFCC was sometime last year arrested for stealing 100 laptop computers from the commission’s exhibit room,” the source disclosed further.
The source revealed that such malfeasance is mostly found in the new recruits of the commission, who, maybe out of naivety and insufficient training, are giving in to pressure, external persuasions or lull.
According to him, these shortcomings are mostly as a result of the inadequate training the new recruits often receive.
“The training and capacity building for these staff are mostly not handled by the accredited training institute of the agency.
“Instead, some of the new recruits receive their trainings sometimes from immigration officials, or Nigerian army,” he said.
The source said that such practice is a total aberration and abuse of the purpose for which the institution was established.
However, Mr Aliyu of Maiduguri office of the commission who briefed newsmen on Tuesday, 23 January, reiterated its zero tolerance for corruption and continual drive to fight the malaise within and outside the commission.
Mr Aliyu said that through internal checks, the commission had been weeding out the bad ones amongst its staff.
The Zonal Head urged the general public to report any of the commission’s staff who demands for financial assistances in an effort to interfere with investigation.