By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
As Senate screens and confirms the appointment of the new Chairman of the Economic Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa, Wednesday, Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, have set agenda for the new boss, as Nigeria remains in the paws and jaws of endemic corruption.
Let him use his youthful energy and knowledge to implement reforms — CISLAC
The Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, said, “Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, and Transparency International Nigeria will like to congratulate Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa on his confirmation by the Senate as the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. It is our wish that he will use his youthful energy and knowledge as an official who passed through the ranks of the commission to implement reforms and ensure a fair and balanced fight against corruption in Nigeria by his commission.
“Moving forward, we will like to specifically point out key areas we think the new chairman should focus on.
“First of all we will like to call on Mr Bawa to ensure that the commission is totally independent of political influence. This is a major challenge facing anti-graft and law enforcement agencies across the country. We at CISLAC/Transparency International (TI) hold the opinion that the insulation of the commission from vested interests is very fundamental in the fight against corruption.
“It is also important that the cooperation and synergy between the EFCC and its sister anti-graft and law enforcement agencies is increased to ensure better results in the fight against corruption.
“In the area of investigations and prosecutions of cases, the commission should endeavour to be thorough before court filing and processes. This is to ensure sufficient utilization of scarce resources.
“The EFCC should also increase its international cooperation with external partners especially in the areas of asset recovery and management. While doing this, the agency should also be very transparent in the management of assets it recovers as this will go a long way in determining the amount of cooperation the commission receives from international state and non-state actors.
“The new chairman should make efforts to ensure that the EFCC Establishment Act 2004 is amended to ensure an active and effective board to oversee the operations of the commission.
“The welfare of the staff of the commission must be well catered for. This is because while we can’t rule out greed, it is important to provide the basic needs for officials of the commission so as to prevent compromise due to the quest to meet the aforementioned needs. In addition to this, the commission should also set up internal policies and controls to ensure that staff who abuse their office are promptly investigated and sanctioned in line with existing laws and regulations.
“Training and retraining should be conducted for staff of the commission in line with global standards. This will help keep the commission abreast with the dynamic nature of financial crime in general.
“Finally, the new chairman should also ensure that he engages non-state actors especially the media and civil society organizations, and provide information to the public in line with the Freedom of Information Act 2011. By doing this, he will make the fight against corruption a collective effort with increased participation by citizens.
“We believe that if the above areas receive the required attention, the fight against corruption in Nigeria by the agency will be greatly improved.
“As law-abiding citizens and patriotic Nigerians, CISLAC/Transparency International will be available to support the commission within our capacity to ensure that corruption is reduced in Nigeria and the best interest of Nigerians is protected.”
Let him do the job dispassionately, sustain results achieved
The National President, All Farmers Association of Nigeria, AFAN, Arc Kabir Ibrahim said, “While I wish him every success I advise him to do the job as dispassionately as possible so as to rid Nigeria of corruption which has been the bane of its progress.
“The best way to achieve sustainable results is to do the job without any fear or favour.”
Bawa needs to place his ears in the ground, listen well — HOMEF
The Director, Health of Mother Earth Foundation, HOMEF, Nnimmo Bassey, Bassey said, “He (Bawa) has been a part of the system. He knows the rot. It is difficult to do things differently when you are so intimately embedded in the system as he has been.
“He needs to place his ears in the ground to hear what the people are saying. Then he should rise and take a bird’s eye view of the corruption landscape with a few to picking out the diverse threads that have woven the horrible tapestry of graft carpeting the land.”
He should do something concrete about the fight against corruption — PMNN
The Founder, Peoples Movement for a New Nigeria, PMNN, Yahaya Ndu, said, “Honestly, I have no message except to say that by their deeds we shall know them. The fight against corruption was lost long ago.
“We are hoping that a new administration after 2023 elections will begin to do something concrete about fighting corruption. Right now thieves are having a field day in Nigeria.”