Executive Director, CLEEN Foundation, Benson Olugbuo has commended the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for its dogged fight against corruption and encouraged the Commission to remain steadfast to its vision and mandate to the people of Nigeria.
Olugbuo stated this during a one-day stakeholders’ forum on “Speaking for Anti-graft Agencies with the EFCC” at Dennis Hotel on Wednesday, July 11, 2018. The event which was a joint collaboration with International Narcotics & Law Enforcement, United States Department of State, CLEEN Foundation and EFCC.
“CLEEN is working closely with the EFCC and other anti-graft agencies to consciously promote their image as well as build public confidence and trust for these institutions. This project was therefore conceived against the need for optimum capacity for law enforcement and anti-graft agencies in Nigeria to be more effective in their relations with the public; and to strengthen relations between criminal justice actors, anti-graft agencies and the citizens through improved and effective communications for transparency and accountability.
“It is on this premise that CLEEN Foundation with support from the United States Embassy has organized this forum and a further two-day training for the public relations officers of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to increase their effectiveness at communications and public relations. It is our hope that after this forum and the training of the PROs, respect human rights through the fight against corruption”, he said.
The technical session included talks on communication and public relations, tools and techniques for public engagement by Prof. Abubakar Muaza and anti-graft agencies and public relations: practical experiences by Emmanuel Ojukwu.
The Acting Chairman EFCC, Ibrahim Magu who was represented by the EFCC Spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren addressed some of the observations bordering on respect for rule of law and human rights violations in the fight against corruption raised during the panel discussion.
According to him, “criticisms on EFCC can be both constructive and non-constructive”. He added that, “due process is always followed whenever investigations are carried out”.
“Before making an arrest, the Commission carries out extensive and thorough investigation led by diligent investigating officers and in some cases, there can be joint collaboration with other agencies”, Wilson said.
The EFCC’s spokesperson added that “the Commission has an effective unit, the Department of Internal Affairs, DIA, that handles cases of corruption within the agency” adding that “if any staff of the Commission is found to be involved in corrupt acts or any form of misconduct, appropriate disciplinary action or sanction would be meted on them”.
He further stressed the role of anti-graft agencies in the fight against corruption as one that is key and called for collaborative efforts to effectively stem the menace.
The stakeholders meeting had delegations drawn from the EFCC, Media Houses, Macarthur Foundation, Legal Practitioners, Transparency International and the Technical Unit on Governance and Anti-Corruption, TUGAR.