Ibrahim lamorde, EFCC chairman
- PDP plans to use agency against our members, alleges opposition
- ‘Purported letter fake’
- Fani-Kayode: APC members hiding under their beds and running from their own shadows
Chuks Okocha, Onyebuchi Ezigbo and Paul Obi in Abuja
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Friday took a swipe at the All Progressive Congress’s Presidential Campaign Organisation over its allegations that the commission had failed to live up to expectations in prosecuting high profile cases, declaring the claims as “absolutely false and patently untrue.”
In a related development, the APC has alleged that the federal government was working to raise malicious charges against its leaders and suspected financiers of the party, using the EFCC. But the anti-graft agency described the allegation as frivolous and unfounded.
APC’s presidential campaign spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu had recently accused the EFCC of ineptitude and failing to prosecute corrupt high profile Nigerians.
But speaking to journalists in Abuja yesterday, EFCC’s Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren the agency was dismayed by the views attributed to the APC spokesman.
Uwujaren said: “It is regrettable that Shehu, a spokesperson of a leading Presidential candidate will call the media to disparage a national agency that epitomise the nation’s fight against corruption.
“Were his views based on facts, it would not have been disturbing. The tragedy is that Shehu choose to amplify gossips, garnished with outright fabrication, to score cheap political points. The charges are particularly galling against the well-advertised commitment of the EFCC not to be dragged into the political fray ahead of the general elections.
“If Shehu has issues with the fight against corruption under President Jonathan, there are other ways of selling his party to the electorate rather than maligning the EFCC.
“For the avoidance of doubt, there is no truth whatsoever in the claims by Shehu that the EFCC Chairman is being accused of corruption by staff. There is also no truth in the allegation our workers are being owed salaries and entitlements for three months.”
“At a time when the rest of the world is commending the agency for recording 126 convictions in 2014, Shehu elected to dampen its morale with a disclaimer that is not based on fact. His claim that the EFCC has not recorded a single high profile conviction under President Jonathan is mischief taken too far. Only those not living in Nigeria will believe such hogwash.
“Shehu has been scavenging for information to tar the EFCC. How else will one respond to his allusion to turmoil in the EFCC? Were he not up to mischief, he ought to be discerning enough to cross check information mopped from the gutter press before elevating them to the pedestal of truth. Obviously, what emerged as turmoil to Shehu is the gossip in online media about a supposed rift between the EFCC chair, Ibrahim Lamorde and the Secretary to the Commission, Emmanuel Adegboyega Aremo. The EFCC has refused to respond to the gossips because they are unfounded.
“For the avoidance of doubt, there is no truth whatsoever in the allusion to imaginary rift between the two most senior officers of the agency. Both officers enjoy harmonious working relationship which is reflected in the commendable performance of the Commission in recent time. They also have no marked differences in terms of the direction and vision of the agency. Those who seek to drive a wedge between them have ulterior motives that are far from altruistic.”
APC Alleges Plan to use EFCC against its men…
Meanwhile, APC’s Presidential Campaign Organisation yesterday alleged that the federal government was working to raise malicious charges against its leaders and suspected financiers of the party using the EFCC “in order to force Muhammadu Buhari to try his own men in a test of his bid to fight corruption without fear or favour.”
A statement signed by the APCPCO Media Director, Garba Shehu alleged that the federal government was planning to take advantage of a vow by Buhari that if elected, he would not investigate the past, but that all on-going cases, as he said would be allowed to run through the courts without any hindrance.
Shehu alleges: “In what is clearly a mischievous attempt to railroad Buhari to subject his own supporters to trial and conviction, the Federal Government, in a letter signed by the Chief of Staff to the President, Brig. Gen. Jones Arogbota (rtd) sent a list of some of the most senior APC leaders, businessmen and company CEOs with a view to immediately commence investigation and trial.”
The list as circulated on the web included former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, Rotimi Amaechi, Adams Oshiomhole, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Aminu Tambuwal and Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso. Others are Senator Danjuma Goje and Bukola Saraki.
Letter is fake, says EFCC…
But the EFCC in a swift reaction said the purported letter referred to by the APC was fake.
The statement from the EFCC reads: “The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC wishes to alert the public about a letter supposedly from the office of the Chief of Staff to President Goodluck Jonathan, mandating the commission to initiate discreet investigation against some prominent political figures in the country.
“The commission urges the public to discountenance the said letter as it is forged document, intended to mislead the people. The features of the letter are markedly different from that on a genuine letter from the office of the Chief of Staff to the president.”
Fani-Kayode: They (APC) are hiding under their beds and running from their own shadows…
Also reacting to the alarm raised by the APC about the EFCC, the Director of Media of the PDP Campaign Organisation, Chief Femi Fani-kayode said the claims were false.
“We have said it before and we shall say it again: the entire leadership of the APC is suffering from paranoia and delusion. They are hiding under their beds and running from their own shadows. This is a clear case of the biblical provisions that say ‘there is no peace for the wicked’’ and that ‘the wicked run even when no-one is pursuing them’. These people have lost their peace and they are running even when no-one is pursuing them.
“If they are so sure of winning the election and if their hands are clean then why should they be having nightmares about the EFCC? The truth is that they are a party that are struggling with their shady past and the sordid catalogue of horrendous sins and crimes that have been committed by their leaders over the years.”