Human Rights lawyer, barrister Inibehe Effiong, accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and its counterpart, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) of politicising the fight against corruption in Nigeria.
The barrister alleged that the two agencies are bias in their fight against corruption, therefore, cannot effectively tackle it in the country.
Inibehe stated this in the capital city of Akwa Ibom, Uyo, while delivering a keynote address entitled, “Stakeholders’ Dialogue on enhancing participation in the Fight against Corruption” organised by Action Aid In Nigeria in collaboration with Policy Alert.
According to him, both the federal government and state governments and the anti-graft agencies have been very selective in the fight against corruption and have completely lost focus.
His statement on the agencies; “The EFCC, ICPC have been politicised.
“They have become openly selective in their unserious fight against corruption.
“People in this government have been accused of corruption but what have the anti-graft agencies done?
“While the present federal government continues to shout about the fight against corruption, we have seen how individuals with active corruption cases are being rewarded with ministerial appointments.
The young lawyer wondered why ICPC could not invite for questioning or arrest those prominent politicians with proven corruption cases pending before them.
He alleged that the EFCC has continued to ignored petitions against those in the ruling parties, adding that the petition by one Itorobong Umoren since November 2018 to EFCC about abandoned projects that littered Akwa Ibom State have not been investigated up till date.
However, he further alleged that such projects such as Tropicana Entertainment Centre, Ibom Science Park, Four points by Sheraton Hotel, roads which had billions of Naira appropriated to them without being executed were all pointed out in the petition for EFCC to investigate and possibly bring the culprits to book, yet EFCC has not acted on it till now.
Barrister Inibehe accused the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel of shielding his predecessor, Senator Godswill Akpabio even amid claims of acrimony existing between them.
In his comments, the State Commissioner of ICPC, Mr. Shola Shodipe, asked individuals in the state to hold submits the battle and benefit the commission of insight to find degenerate government officials.
He claimed that the state government has been trying urgent endeavors to get order to control both the EFCC and ICPC from researching monetary exercises of the state government over a wide span of time.
“Akwa Ibom government has gone to court to limit our options. The little endeavors we have made to research were accused of hatred of court. We are crippled” the Commissioner bemoaned.
Before now, the Country Director of Action Aid Nigeria, Mrs. Ene Obi attributed uncertainty on insecurity in Nigeria to corruption and tasked the anti-graft agencies to utilize their powers to arraign any individual found in corrupting practices irrespective of political association or class.