By Tony Edike
ENUGUâ€”THE Federal Government said at the weekend, that it was determined to ensure that all the former Governors and others currently standing trial for alleged corrupt practices were successfully prosecuted, no matter how long their trial last.
It also faulted critics of the Mrs Farida Waziri-led Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), who have repeatedly accused the anti-graft agency of being too slow in handling the cases of corruption against someÂ public office holders, saying the commission was on course.
Minister of Information and Communications, Prof Dora Akunyili, who made this known, when she addressed the synod of the Anglican Diocese of Enugu on the role of the church in the Re-branding Nigeria project, said that the delay in bringing the corrupt past Governors to book was neither the fault of the Federal Government nor the EFCC.
She explained that the commission contrary to expectations of many Nigerian, was mindful of the rule of law and due process in handling alleged cases of corruption against public office holders, stressing that it was wrong to declare an innocent person a criminal without proper investigation of complaints against the person.
The Minister said, â€œI can tell you with all sincerity that the way Mrs. Farida Waziri is fighting corruption today following the rule of law may not impress many Nigerians because she is not doing it in a gangsterism way.Â She is doing it following the rule of law,Â which many Nigerians donâ€™t want.
When somebody is reported to the EFCC, what Nigerians want is that the person should be immediately arrested and handcuffed, which is not right.
First, they will expect the EFCC to get a team of mobile policemen, get television cameras, radio and other journalists, break into the personâ€™s compound, handcuff him and immediately declare the person a criminal even before his investigation.”