The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Tuesday, April 19, 2016, stormed the office of the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu to ‘honour’ him with a special recognition as “Anti Corruption Ambassador”.
According to the National Assembly liason officer of the EFCC, Mr. Sulaiman Bakari, the anti-graft agency based their action on Ekweremadu’s support for anti-corruption over the years. Bakari also presented a frame to Ekweremadu in appreciation of the lawmaker’s effort as a symbol of institutional partnership between the EFCC and the National Assembly.
As honourable and innocent the EFCC may want the gesture to seem, the move is wrong for multiple reasons.
- It Smacks Of Obsequiousness: The EFCC is an agency which is empowered to act as watchdog over government officials, including the Senators. This endorsement of Ekweremadu reeks of sycophancy and it puts a big question mark on the integrity of the EFCC.
- Ekweremadu Is Not So Anti-corruption: It is not even up to a week that our new Anti Corruption Ambassador presided over plenary in the absence of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and in that session, he oversaw an accelerated hearing to the bill seeking the amendment of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) and the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) law. A bill that essentially seeks to de-criminalise Corruption.
- It’s A Big Dent in Buhari’s Anti-corruption campaign: The endorsement of a Deputy Senate President who saw no wrong in spending billions unnecessary on luxury cars at twice the market price, will surely erode the little confidence Nigerians have in the agency. The swift request by Bakari to Ekweremadu after decorating him, that the Deputy Senate President should help the EFCC get adequate funding and speedy passage of all the anti-corruption Bills before the National Assembly clearly depicts an agency willing to lick the ‘right’ boots.
DanielFayemi for encomium.ng