By Tony Orilade, Ag. Head, Media & Publicity, EFCC
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on Thursday, May 23, 2019 received praise for taking the anti-corruption fight to the doorsteps of hitherto sacred cows in the country and for being the “torchlight for the African Continent in the anti-corruption war.”
The commendation came from the president of African Bar Association, AFBA Barrister Hannibal Uwaifo, while on a courtesy visit to the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, at the Commission’s headquarters.
Uwaifo, who led a delegation of key officials of the association on the visit, appreciated Magu’s efforts in ridding the country of corruption and in setting the pace for a corrupt-free continent of Africa.
“I commend the Commission for taking the fight to the doorsteps of those who think they were beyond reach. We also commend the Chairman for his bold action in spreading the fight around Africa,” Uwaifo said.
The president of the association who described the EFCC as a “torchlight for the continent in the anti-corruption war,” used the opportunity to invite the Commission to the 2019 AFBA annual conference, that will take place in Cairo, the Egyptian capital.
He also appealed to the Commission to brand and sponsor an EFCC anti-corruption session in its October event and in the regional conference of the association, coming up in July in Bangui, the Gambia. He further sought collaboration between AFBA and the Commission in the fight against corruption.
“We want EFCC to be part of our collaboration in the anti-corruption crusade for which you have dearly put your life at stake, because we believe there are a lot we will learn from,” Uwaifo said.
In his response, Magu thanked and appreciated the association for taking time to visit the Commission and for commending the EFCC in its anti-corruption fight.
“I thank you so much for taking time to come to the EFCC and for really appreciating our efforts in what we are doing. Lawyers by their profession are human rights activists and corruption counters,” the Chairman said.
The EFCC boss reaffirmed that the fight against corruption cannot be done by one person, but that all hands must be on deck.
“This job we are doing cannot be done in isolation. It is not a job that you will sit down here and say you will do it alone. It is not possible. No one can arrogate the knowledge of the fight against corruption. So we need to mobilize everybody, particularly the professionals,” Magu said.
He further emphasized the need for collaboration by calling on all well-meaning organisations and bodies to collaborate with the EFCC in the fight against corruption.
“Let us talk about how we can partner and work together to improve the lot of Nigerians which is very necessary. We welcome you and we are a willing partner. All other associations should copy from you by joining hand with the EFCC in the fight against corruption.
“I always say the best strategy is collaboration. Let us work together because some people don’t even know that corruption is wrong, that is why they celebrate the corrupt. They don’t ask questions. It is a responsibility of every Nigerian to come into the fight against corruption. It is good that the African Bar Association is here to recognize what we are doing and what we have done,” Magu said.
Top EFCC officials who joined Magu to receive the delegation included: the Secretary to the Commission, Ola Olukoyode; Head, Human Resources Femi Gbarufu and the Commandant of EFCC Academy, David Tukura. Others are: EFCC’s Directors of Finance, Mr. Manigi; Director of Operations, Mohammed Umar; Director, Public Affairs Department, Osita Nwajah and Director, Organisational Support, NT Ibrahim.
Members of the AFBA delegation included: Ibrahim Mark, AFBA’s vice president, Major General Y. Ishalangwa of the Militarry and Security Agencies Forum; Iyom Josephine Anenih(mni), chairperson, Women’s Interest Forum and John David Merson, Deputy Country Representative, AFBA Ghana Forum.