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EFCC seeks CSOs’ support in anti-corruption campaigns

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission chair, Ola Olukoyede, has urged Civil Society Organizations to step up as “the eyes of the public” in the ongoing battle against corruption.

Speaking at a meeting with key CSO leaders in Abuja, Olukoyede highlighted their crucial role in holding authorities accountable and supporting anti-corruption initiatives. “You are the whistle-blowers, the petition-writers, the voice of the voiceless,” he declared.

He emphasized that an astounding 80% of petitions received by the EFCC and other agencies come through CSOs, underscoring their vital contribution. “Without a strong civil society, our fight would be much harder,” he acknowledged.

“You people are the eyes of the public. The  public is looking up to you even more than us. That  is why they run to you when they see cases and they ask you to petition cases on their behalf. That is why as  civil societies,  of course you know the status the law has conferred to you,  that in every public interest case,  you have locus standi.

  “I look at the petitions that are coming  to us, and eighty percent of them are from the civil society, so assuming we don’t have a serious civil society  in Nigeria, you could imagine what would have happened to us in this country,” he added.

“The focus of any fight against economic and financial crimes is to stimulate growth and development in the economy.  We will work in such a way that business concerns will be able to create jobs by removing threats to businesses.  We will ensure that the image of our nation improves significantly because we will not allow those giving us a bad name to continue. I tell you all over the world where they have a strong presence of anti-corruption agencies, they make an impact by what they contribute to the economic development,” he said.

Speaking further, he said “The second agenda is to work professionally.  An average EFCC operative should earn the respect of Nigerians through his professionalism.  The third agenda is to adhere strictly to the rule of law in the course of our assignments.  I told my people that we are going to enforce our law, very strictly and very swiftly, but in getting results, the process through which we get results matters. If we discover  companies that are deliberately set up to destroy our economy, to exploit us, we are going to shut them down, we are going to enforce the law,” he said. 

Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, Coordinator of the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, echoed Olukoyede’s message. “Any CSO supporting fraudulent politicians or systems is no true civil society,” he declared. “We will always stand with the EFCC, encourage you to do the right thing, and share any credible information we have.”

 

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