Buhari warns EFCC to steer clear of politics ahead of 2023 general elections

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  • “Your job remains to serve the nation in its efforts to entrench good governance,” he stresses

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–Pix (above): President Muhammadu Buhari (R) and EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa

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President Muhammadu Buhari has warned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to completely steer clear of politics, as the nation’s general elections draw closer in 2023.

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He emphasized the need to be mindful of individuals and groups with determination to use the anti-graft commission to settle political scores against perceived rivals.

Speaking at the unveiling of the EFCC Standard Operating Procedures, Policies and Manuals, at the State House, Abuja, Friday, the president said: “I must advise the leadership and operatives of this commission to resist the temptation of being used for partisan politics or be dragged into personal disputes. Your job is to serve the nation in its efforts to entrench good governance.’’

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The president, however, commended the Abdulrasheed Bawa-led EFCC for its avowed diligence in securing 2,220 convictions within one year and recovering over N152 Billion and $385 million.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, I am glad to note that the war against corruption, which is one of the cardinal objectives of this administration, is being strengthened through the institutionalization of operational procedures, particularly as they form the building blocks of transparency and accountability in administration and public expenditure,’’ he enthused, commending the Abdulrasheed Bawa-led EFCC for developing 26 standard operating procedures and 25 policies and manuals for the departments, units and staff of the commission .

“Ladies and Gentlemen, these outstanding feats achieved are being unveiled today and I would like to use this opportunity to encourage other Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government, especially law enforcement agencies, to also ensure the standardization of their processes within the extant laws and regulations as provided in our statutes.

“I need not underscore the importance of today’s occasion, but let me remind you that the stakes are high, but national expectations are higher. Therefore, we must continue to strive and deal decisively with matters in accordance with the rule of law.

“On the part of the Government, we shall continue to accord all necessary support to MDAs in order to ensure the sustainability of the initiatives already commenced in actualizing our vision of a corrupt free society.

“Let me conclude by saying that the fight against economic and financial crimes in Nigeria is a collective responsibility of all Nigerians if we are to make meaningful progress as a nation.

“I invite you all to fight corruption in all its ramifications and join us to entrench good governance values and integrity within all our systems. As I have often said, ‘If we do not kill corruption, corruption will kill us as a nation.’”

Buhari observed that developing the guidelines confirms the commitment of the EFCC towards the fight against corruption.

Earlier in his remarks, the EFCC chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, had noted that the institution was undergoing various phases of reforms to reposition it for the task of fighting financial crimes in the country, with production of policies and manuals.

The EFCC, he said, already had a five-year strategic plan, 2021-2025, with clear and measurable targets, based on five objectives, which include improving public engagement to fight crimes, systems and processes for prevention, intelligence gathering, prosecution and law enforcement./SHARE THIS

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