By Emman Ovuakporie
ABUJA â€” Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mrs FaridaÂ Waziri, has said the anti-graft agency will not compile list of politicians with the intention of denying them their right not to contest elections.
Fielding questions from journalists at the venue of a book launch in commemoration of her two years in office,Â Waziri said: “Within the statutes, if you are indicted and charged to court, of course yes but I canâ€™t on my own pick a pen and compile a list of politicians that they are disqualified because in the constitution every Nigerian has the right to vote and be voted for, except for a very good reason.â€
On the book entitled: “Anti-Corruption Handbook for Nigerian Youths” authored by Tabi Joda, she said: â€œIt is a publication aimed at re-branding education, business, politics and public administration in Nigeria. The commission finds it a valuable contribution to its fight against corruption.
â€œBut permit me to digress a little to talk about corruption as all Nigerians know that economic and financial corruption is the bane of Nigeriaâ€™s strive to economic abundance and the magnitude of this perversion is so much that government set several agencies to confront it.
â€œBut because of the fact that many of the corrupt practices in Nigeria fall within the ambit of economic and financial crimes, the EFCC has been confronted with fighting a greater proportion of the cases in Nigeria.
â€œAs I speak to you now, we have 400 cases in court with 50 high profile cases and we have advanced our technology to match the sophistication of cyber criminals by deploying Project Eagle Claw and initiated tax investigations which has led to recoveries of N3 billion.â€
On recovered stolen money, she said:Â â€œThe score card of EFCC under my watch, since I resumed, speaks for itself as we have recovered approximately $3.5 billion and secured over a 100 convictions within 24 months.
â€œThese achievements have caused our global corruption index to jump from 0.5points to 2.7 points leaving us 121st of 179 countries sampled by Transparency International.â€
On problems confronting the anti-graft agency, Waziri said: â€œAt every opportunity, I have always pointed out that by far the most depressing aspect of our fight against corruption is the slow process of our court.â€