EFCC: A Waste of Taxpayer’s Money

By Charles Ofoji

If you spend, or employ uselessly without adequate return, it is a locus-classic case of profligate squander. Now, if you juxtapose the colossal sum spent on the so-called anti-graft agency, the EFCC since it was conceived and set up by former President Obasanjo`s government, with the results it has achieved in its careworn fight against corruption, then you can not but concur with me that the agency is a massive misuse of tax payers money – funds, which could have been more prudently spent in a country where everything needs fixing. This makes me feel very strongly about public money, especially at these times when we have just withdrawn the subsidy on fuel, which in my view is the only benefit ordinary Nigerians enjoy being citizens of the 7th largest exporter of oil in the world. The cheap propaganda mounted last week by the EFCC over the conviction of a former teacher in Adamawa state for N3.8million scam nearly brought my stomach, already nervous over the state of our country, to ulcer. One Wilson Uwujaren, ostensibly acting as the Head, Media & Publicity at the EFCC sent a press release flying all over the place about this milestone in the annals of the agency’s war on corruption. According to the press release, “an Adamawa state High Court sitting in Yola, has sentenced a former Secretary of the Nigerian Union of Teachers in Lamurde Local Government Area of Adamawa state, Mr. Japhet Dadiye to two years in prison over N3.8million scam. Dadiye was sentenced by Justice Audu Lagre for defrauding a new generation bank to the tune of N3, 848,678million.” Hip, hip, hip, Hurray! Is this why the EFCC was set up? Surely not. It is intended as an anti corruption bureau, dedicated to combating corruption in high places, which has kept away from us as a people the goodies the gods intended for us. Since independence, this country has raked in over $600billion dollars from oil export alone. You and I are not in two minds that nothing on the ground reflects this huge earning. Ordinary Nigerians are still lacking the main things of life, things that are taken for granted in other climes that are not even half as blessed as our country. In case it interests Lamorde and his colleagues at EFCC, half of this money ended up in private coffers. This is why the EFCC was commissioned to get back some of the money and also to prevent corruption and the looting of public treasury. If they care to know, Nigeria is not spending billions of Naira on EFCC only to reduplicate the functions of the regular police force. That press release, as well as the EFCC TV show – “The Eagle”, which reports the arrest and conviction of people engaged in petty crimes, is a trivialisation by the commission of its onerous task, which chiefly is to curtail(nobody is expecting eradication) fraud by government officials. The government and the people of Nigeria did not buy ships and big nets for the EFCC to catch small fishes. Let EFCC give us the big fishes, who have and are still guzzling this country’s wealth. It is on record that since the formation of the EFCC, no big fish has been caught. I challenge Lamorde and Co to prove me strong. Many ex public office holders, with cases of corruption to answer, who are supposed to be in prison for their crimes against the people, are still being treated as VIPs as if nothing happened, and without any response from a lame EFCC. The theory is rife that had Ibori not eloped, he would have been a free man today and would have continued to be a guest of honour at events in Abuja and Asaba. What further prove do we then need that this agency is a waste of tax payers’ money? But in fairness, I have never expected much from the EFCC. Are the people working there not Nigerians? Why should they be different from other citizens of a country, where corruption has become a tradition and way of life? This apart, the agency has been headed by a police officer since its inauguration. As I have said several times before, nothing good can come out of the Nigeria police, which itself epitomises corruption. Any officer who participated in robbing citizens of N20 and N50 at gunpoint at the checkpoints, or condoned the act cannot be trusted with the burden of fighting corruption. In so far as no policeman has resigned in protest, it follows that they are all party to the illegal extortion and robbery perpetrated by the police against the same people they are paid to protect. The EFCC has never kept its acclaimed eagle eye on the ball. Instead of focusing on the real enemies of the state, it prefers to be preoccupied with minor cases, which the police can deal with. This reduces the EFCC, which was created primarily to prevent and fight fiddle by public office holders, to a toothless bulldog and therefore an unnecessary duplication of the job of the police and a gigantic waste of tax payers’ funds.

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Categories: Insight, Insight


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