By Ben Agande & Chris Ochayi
ABUJA— CHAIRMAN of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mrs.
Farida Waziri, yesterday, vowed that the agency would collaborate with
sister anti-graft agencies in the country to ensure that politicians
with corruption cases were prevented from seeking elective offices in
next year’s general elections.
also admonished Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC,
Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega to beware of dubious contractors who
may resort to blackmail and petition writing if they failed to win
contracts from the commission.
Mrs. Waziri who spoke at the opening
of a training programme on Anti-Money Laundering/Control of Terrorist
Financing being organised by the United States Federal Bureau of
Investigation, FBI, for EFCC operatives and other law enforcement
officers at the Commission’s Training and Research Institute, TRI, Karu
in Abuja, said corrupt politicians would be denied further access to
loot the nation’s treasury.
Mrs. Waziri said: “We are not going
outside the rule of law but we have powers to do certain things. I
mean, if you have a case in court and we know very well that we charged
you to court and the case is ongoing, you have not cleared your name
but you want to take another corner and be relevant, there are many
ways that we can stop you.
“You see, you know the law, a man is presumed innocent until proven guilty
by a court of competent jurisdiction. Now you don’t publish names that
these people are disqualified by mere publishing names, you will be
violating their fundamental rights. But there are ways of working out
all these things which I told you that we will let you know.
don’t want a situation where we will be seen as misusing our powers to
publish the names. Of course, we have the names of Politically Exposed
Persons whose cases have been pending in court for the past five years.
With the brief on the cases, this is not violating anything; we are
just telling you that we have these cases pending. But once you
published a name that this man is banned, it is a different thing. But
we can’t do that. How we will do it along with others in the best
interest of the law and the nation, we will keep it as a strategy for
Mrs. Waziri who visited Professor Jega in his office, yesterday said:
“Some people will not be looking at the face of Prof. Jega, they would
be looking at the N87 billion released to the commission for the voters
register. Some will say ‘only one man has the power to appropriate that
Some Nigerians will come to you and say to you what they would
have done in a given situation. People have talked of that money, what
he will do with it. Some will not believe that you will spend that
money for the purpose for what it is meant.
“The second issue is
that everybody would like to have a bit of it. There are some companies
with all sorts of names like those with general merchandise,
forwarders, importers and exporters.
Headquarters in New York and head
offices in whatever country, with very beautiful complimentary
“And when they fail to get
what they want, they start with petitions and blackmail. Some of them
will claim that they are specialists in voting materials and when they
don’t get the contracts, they claim that you have awarded the contracts
to your in-laws and cousins. All these precautionary measures have to
be taken into consideration because we are bad losers.”
Chairman, INEC, Prof. Jega commended the EFCC Chairman for her concern,
stating that the commission was willing to partner with all
stakeholders to ensure that there was transparency in the system,
especially the processes in the award of contracts in the purchase of
the voters register and the 2011 general election.