The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission needs to adopt a proactive approach to its graft war, instead of these formulaic curative measures and episodic media shows that only succeed fully in humiliating their victims after seasons of trials and accumulated costs, sometimes without any success – as the court finds the suspects innocent or exercises leniency in doing so.
Some of EFCC’s notorious “Billion Naira” thieves walked away on paltry bails, and that got me thinking: what if a mechanism was in place to stop the accused from even tampering with our resources in the first place? Some of them, at the time of their arrests, had already spent the money they were accused of stealing on expensive weddings and outrageous tuition fees of their kids in foreign schools. You may seize their assets, but can you approach Oxford or Yale to return tuition fees paid into their accounts by certain Nigerian politicians?
The money invested in the needlessly dramatic tracking and trials of a suspected looter by EFCC agents could’ve been used for more useful initiatives if our anti-graft agency is given the needed support to be any more autonomous and vigilant.
The organisation needs to get closer to all governments and MDAs at all levels and tiers, monitoring and evaluating their expenditures as proposed in the budget, and then demanding to see their banking details when cases of frauds are identified or reported by citizens.
Perhaps EFCC needs increased funding to spread its tentacles across the nation. Prevention isn’t only better than cure; for us, it will save costs and the circus that comes with every trial of the unlucky in this society of corrupt bureaucrats and thieves.
What baffles me now is, the same anti-graft boss who ought to be monitoring Buhari’s men and refusing to be drawn into any partisan alignment was seen at a protest organised by the partisans, as though corruption only occurred in the last administration.
Wisdom would’ve been developing a plan to move on Buhari’s men too, rejecting any partisan solidarity with politicians or their supporters. Give EFCC an autonomy; a structure for actualising its institutional independence.