President Muhammadu Buhari came to power last year claiming Nigeria needed to “kill corruption before corruption killed Nigeria”.
In the nine months of his administration several high profile figures from the Goodluck Jonathan administration, that Buhari replaced in May last year, have been “invited” (or arrested) by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over allegations of corruption.
A senior government source has revealed to Naijiant.com how the so-called anti-corruption war has been proceeding since Buhari’s started acting like he was crusading against the evils of graft. Buhari’s speeches are said to have scared several senior officials in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), that lost the presidential (s)election to Buhari’s All Progressives Congress (APC).
The official said that EFCC officials usually do not act unless they receive a petition against an individual. They then “invite” the person for questioning. At this stage, EFCC officials are said to let the person know that they could make life a lot easier for them – for an agreeable fee.
However, the person must not hand over any money at the EFCC offices. The anti-graft agency officials also seem to have a network of staff across the country working together as partners in crime. So if, for example, someone with corruption allegations against them is invited/arrested in Lagos and needs to be taken to HQ in Abuja for further questioning, “settling” the Lagos staff means that their Abuja colleagues would give the person a “safe landing” because they get a cut of the Lagos “settlement”.
Our source said “the Nigerian factor” has permeated every level of the so-called war against corruption.
The then head of the EFCC in June last year blamed a shortage of funds for the slow pace of the organisation and its inability to secure convictions in high profile cases. It appears that there could be other factors at play.