The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ola Olukoyede has lamented that the craze and quest for gratification, bribes and other compromises by of the investigators of the anti-graft agency have become too embarrassing and will not be allowed to continue.
Olukoyede who made the shocking revelation while delivering his New Year address to the staff of the Commission in Abuja on Thursday warned that steps will be take to curb the despicable conduct among the staff.
Public opinions about the conduct of some of our investigators are adverse. The craze and quest for gratification, bribes and other compromises by some of our investigators are becoming too embarrassing and this must not continue, said Olukoyede.
The EFCC Chairman who vowed that he would not shy away from taking action against any form of infraction by any staff of the Commission said he has already directed the Department of Internal Affairs to monitor every staff in all their engagements to curb the embarrassing situation.
The image of the commission is too important to be placed on the line by any corrupt officer, Olukoyede said while reiterating the need for discipline, integrity and a sense of responsibility by the operatives in carrying out their work.
Let me sound a note of warning in this regard. I will not hesitate to wield the big stick against any form of infraction by any staff of the Commission. The Department of Internal Affairs has been directed to be more ardent in its work and monitor every staff in all their engagements. The image of the commission is too important to be placed on the line by any corrupt officer,” he added.
However, the EFCC chairman also noted that he has initiated moves to improve the welfare of staff of the anti-graft agency while noting that new year promises to bring smiles on the faces of staff across all the commands.
Olukoye also said he has been able to stabilise the commission with roll out of fresh initiatives and policy direction following his appointment as chairman in 2023.
He recalled that his policy drive is anchored on a three-pronged agenda and blueprint, the first of which is the proper focusing on the mandate of the EFCC.
All over the world, the major objective of the war against corruption and financial crimes is to drive economic development and create wealth and job opportunities for the populace. We need to come to these realities and operate by them. Our nation is in dire straits. We need to continue to do everything possible to stimulate the revenue profile of Nigeria.
There is no agency of government as crucial to the nation’s quest for growth and development as the EFCC. We have all it takes to bring up the profile and developmental index of our nation. I urge all of you to be steadfast and committed to this clarion.
The second plank of our policy direction is putting modalities in place for running the administration and governance of the nation at various levels in a most responsible, accountable and transparent manner as well as building and promoting the international image and reputation of Nigeria in the eye of the world as a country that is worthy of attracting foreign direct investments. To achieve all these, preventive mechanisms against corruption, adherence to the rule of law and engagement of diverse publics in the nation in the fight, are imperative.
I equally talk about the overarching need for a transactional credit system as a potent means of keeping corruption at bay. We need to encourage this and motivate Nigerians in this area. I want to particularly harp on the preventive modality which is the centerpiece of our new engagement. We are already building strength in this area through restructuring of the layers of the commission. I want every staff to be in tune with the new arrangement.
He also said EFCC staff must abide by the commission’s reviewed guidelines for arrests and bail, which, according to him were informed by the need for the agency to conform with international best practices in law enforcement.
We are a civilised anti-graft agency. Arrest and bail would henceforth be done in line with the rule of law. Our investigators should particularly take note of this. It is important for us to understand the dynamics of the world in the area of law enforcement. Change is the most permanent fact of life. We should not be seen to be resisting changes in our work.
Lastly, I have always said that we are all privileged to be staff of the EFCC. There is this Latin phrase that says, noblesse oblige, meaning, nobility demands responsibility. This is the crux of the matter. We should dignify the privilege of being EFCC staff with proportionate responsibility. It is both a duty and an obligation. I wish you all the best in the New Year, the EFCC Chairman said.