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Accountability: Governor charges EFCC to probe Presidency, FEC members

Members of the Federal Executive Council in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, FCT

*Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State, North-West Nigeria, petitions the leadership of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to ensure agency’s investigation of outgoing public officials for  alleged corruption is ‘holistic and not selective’ by beaming its searchlight on the Presidency and members of the Federal Executive Council

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Concerned about the reported express notices by the anti-graft agency to the outgoing state governors and commissioners, Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State, Wednesday, May 17, 2023, has petitioned Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa, Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to also beam his searchlight on the Nigerian Presidency and members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

Matawalle, in a statement, urged Bawa to ensure the regulatory Commission’s investigation is holistic and not selective.

Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State

He stated: “My attention has been drawn to a statement credited to the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, in which he claimed he has sent invitations to all outgoing Governors and Commissioners in a bid to commence investigation into alleged corruption and abuse of office perpetrated by them while in office.

“While this is appropriate and commendable because it’s important for political office holders to account for their actions in office and EFCC is imbued with the power of investigation, however, this power must be exercised judiciously.”

The statement also noted: “The investigation must be holistic and not selective. It is in this respect that the recent invitations and pronouncement by the EFCC Chair is imbalance, incomplete, hypocritical and unnecessarily skewed.

“This is counterproductive to the anti-corruption crusade itself,  that is if Bawa is actually committed to one.”

Matawalle also explained that “in a bid to help the obvious knowledge-gap and inertia exhibited by the EFCC Chair, the probe should be all-embracing and cover all officers.

“I demand that the EFCC chair extend similar invitations to officers of the Presidency and members of the Federal Executive Council, which is the highest tier of government in the country.

“In furtherance of my desire to engender a broad based investigation and an enlargement of the fight against corruption, I will also demand that Abdulrasheed Bawa excuse himself and surrender himself for investigation, as I and some eminent Nigerians have evidence of corrupt practices, breach of public trust and abuse of office against him and the commission led by him.”

The Governor further stated: “It is when the EFCC Chair does this and becomes open, non-selective and all-embracing with his invitation, that we will take him seriously.

“It is only then will serious-minded officers who have served the people selflessly and meritoriously, and are not opposed to an examination of their books, and indeed Nigerians generally take him seriously.

“Without this, it is just a case of another person in government who has some explanation to do himself over allegations of corruption, high-handedness and abuse of office now asking others to account, by so doing, merely giving Nigerians a comic relief from the present challenging times they are experiencing.”

Matawalle entitled to his opinion —Presidency

Reacting to the Zamfara State’s request to the EFCC for all-embracing investigations of probity and accountability in public service, the Federal Government, through Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Honourable Minister for Information and Culture,  said the Governor Matawalle is entitled to his opinion.

The Minister reportedly said: “The governor has the right to make suggestions; that is his own opinion.”

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