Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde has cautioned politicians across the country to refrain from using public funds for electoral campaigns.
He delivered this charge on Monday, October 7, 2013 at a roundtable meeting convened by the Partners for Electoral Reforms and Civil Society Network Against Corruption in Lagos . According to the EFCC’s boss, who was represented by Mr. Iliyasu Kwarbai, (Zonal Head of Operations, Lagos), the Commission, while mindful of the need to insulate itself from partisan political matters, will nevertheless continue to perform its statutory duties as contained in its Establishment Act.
Specifically, Lamorde said that the EFCC will not hesitate to invoke its special powers as contained in Section 7 Sub Section 1 (a)(b) of the EFCC Act, which empowers it to “cause investigations to be conducted as to whether any person, corporate body or organization has committed any offence under the act or other law relating to economic and financial crimes”. He also advised politicians to abide by the rules and regulations guiding electoral issues.
Coordinator of Civil Society Network Against Corruption, Mr. Suraj Olanrewaju explained that the forum was meant to discuss the independence of anti-corruption agencies in the run up to 2015 election while making critical assessment of citizen vigilance and oversight of anti-corruption agencies in the build up to the elections. The meeting also discussed Political Parties and their preparedness for the elections.
Mrs. Robina Namusisi, Country Director, International Republican Institute, lent an international angle to the discussions, when she said that her agency was involved in “working with political parties to have stronger platforms; training political parties to know their roles and also deploying observers to observe elections and ensuring that politicians are more transparent to the public in the next election”.
In his presentation, Professor Sam Egwu, Team Leader, Governance and Peace Building, United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, Abuja, said though corruption was rife and pervasive in Nigeria, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, remained the only anti-graft agency making impact. He however charged the EFCC to work harder and make its impact felt more by Nigerians.
The meeting was attended by representatives of some political parties and different civil society groups.
Ag. Head, Media & Publicity
8th October, 2013