The Economics and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been urged to maintain its integrity and act within the laws of the land, instead of persecuting those who served in the President Goodluck Jonathan administration.
Speaking against the backdrop of the arrest of major players in the last administration, a non-governmental organisation, the Integrity Forum accused the EFCC of singling out opposition members for arrest, adding that the action was unacceptable.
While expressing support for the anti-corruption crusade of President Muhammadu Buhari, the group advised the anti-graft agency to act within the law, instead of its present tactics of presuming that all the people that served in that administration had something to hide or were corrupt.
Citing the arrest of former Head of Service of the Federation, Mr. Steve Oronsaye, the Director of Media of the Goodluck Jonathan/Sambo Campaign Organisation, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode and the arrest of Senator Ayo Adeseun, who represented Oyo Central Senatorial District and Chairman of Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance & Other Financial Institutions, the group described the agency’s tactics as a grand plot to cow the opposition.
The National Co-ordinator of Integrity Forum, Mr. James Alo, “While not in support of corruption, those who had served the country well should not be demonis ed nor persecuted. Oronsaye was chairman of the Presidential Committee on the Rationalisation and Restructuring of the Federal Government Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies, which came up with wide ranging recommendations, which led to the restructuring of the civil service. One of the fallout of the recommendation was the approval of tenure for Permanent Secretaries and Directors in the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs)”.
The group equally noted that the information provided by Oronsaye led to the discovery of large-scale corruption in pension administration. In all these, Oronsaye was absolved of any wrongdoing. His committee had equally recommended the merger of the Code of Conduct Bureau with the EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) into one anti-corruption body. “Would this be the sin of Oronsaye”, the group asked.
On Fani-Kayode, Alo said the action of the EFCC showed that it had concluded on what end it wanted. “Even before his visit to the EFCC, the agency had already got an order to detain him for two weeks. Does this not look premeditated?
The group noted that Senator Adeseun was arrested last Tuesday for involvement in campaign funds disbursement and had not been released since, neither has he been charged to any court. “Has there been any probe conducted on the funding of the All Progressives Congress presidential campaign? Why is EFCC being selective?”