By Elisabeth Uwandu
Akwa Ibom Media Advocates, AMA, a socio-economic group has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, not to tarnish its goodwill in the minds of Nigerians and the international community through its present political activities in Akwa Ibom State.
The group in a statement on Wednesday drew attention to the recent newspaper publications of invitations of state officials and of investigations of the financial affairs of the state government.
Noting that the EFCC was established to fight financial crimes and lift the glory of the nation above what it used to be at the beginning of the century, the group in the statement drew attention to what it claimed had become a rehash of reports of investigations of the accounts of the state government.
“We did not react to the first report in August of the investigation of the accounts of the state government as we thought that it could have been a mistake. That the state government even went to court was reassuring. However, the latest report clearly indicates an agenda that is out of place with the purpose of the establishment of the commission.
“We believe that the commission has fully delved into the political arena and is carrying out a partisan agenda aimed at destabilising the state government. If not, we wonder why the agency left the investigations of the period between 2007 and 2015 despite the lack of immunity of the senior officials at that time.
“It is trite that the power to investigate the finances of a state government is domiciled in the State House of Assembly and this is a fact that has been proved by the courts.
“We are not aware of any petition that may have triggered the EFCC in its present mission other than the now popular notion of a partisan interest to destabilise the government in favour of the ruling political party at the federal level.
“The EFCC was built on the solid pedestal of clearing graft and not on the pursuit of political goals as it is now seen to be doing in Akwa Ibom and the present efforts will in no small way diminish the agency both locally and among its international peers.”
“We call on the commission to be unbiased in all their efforts in order to leave a lasting legacy for posterity.”