By Emmanuel Elebeke
A group of southeast Amalgamated Market Traders Association has said that the action of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami in exposing alleged infractions in the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCCby its Managers is an unprecedented act of courage that deserves commendation.
In a statement jointly signed by its President-General and Secretary-General, Chief Gozie Akudolu, and Chief Alex Okwudili respectively, the groups said for detailing infractions against the EFCC and its Managers, Malami was in order and in line with his supervisory responsibilities.
It noted that previous Ministers of Justice had in the past been in unholy alliances with the Chief Executive of Agencies and Departments under their supervision, leading to massive corruption, colossal waste of public resources, and shameless economic conspiracy against the Nigerian state.
‘‘The Ministerial memorandum from the Hon. Attorney General and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami SAN to President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, detailing infractions against the EFCC and its Managers was in order and in line with his supervisory responsibilities.
‘‘The action of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice is an unprecedented act of courage and should be commended. In the past, Ministers have been in unholy alliances with the Chief Executive of Agencies and Departments under their supervision, leading to massive corruption, colossal waste of public resources, and shameless economic conspiracy against the Nigerian state.’’
The group also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for acting in National interest and in line with his powers by setting up the Justice Salami Investigative Panel and for setting up an investigative panel let by retired Justice Ayo Salami, it said nothing could be more independent and transparent than this presidential process.
‘‘For the avoidance of doubt, the impact of corruption on business is monumental. It ranges from unfair level playing fields, avoidable favouritism, to expediency rather than quality as well as inflations and economic collapse. Corruption erodes trust, wastes taxpayers’ money, engenders poor quality service delivery, and leads to defrauding of investors and traders.
‘‘Corruption inhibits economic growth and affects business operations. It has a negative effect on domestic investment and tax revenues. At a micro level, corruption imposes additional costs on growth for Companies and Business enterprises.
‘‘The consequences of corruption are legion and business owners are at the receiving end of this cankerworm. This is why the present issues at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) must be handled without emotions and sentiments,’’ said the group.
It enjoined Nigerians to give Justice Salami and his colleagues in the Panel, an opportunity to conclude their inquiry, come up with their report and recommend actions before
jumping to conclusions, warning that avoidable distractions, distortions, media orchestrations, fake news sponsorship, and faceless damage to the reputations of public officials will never be a solution to a legitimate process, to establish guilt or otherwise, of principal actors in this investigation.
While expressing its support the fight against corruption and corrupt practices by President Muhammadu Buhari and his Government, the group encouraged the Attorney General not to be distracted by social media and fake news publications, but to make the great fight evidence-based.