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EFCC office too much political — Transparency International

… Kicks against jamboree of political appointments

 

The Head of Transparency International, Nigeria, Mr. Auwal Rafsanjani, says the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has been unnecessarily made to be too much political.

 

Rafsanjani, also the Executive Director of the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.

According to the Executive Director of the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center, the suspension of the EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, did not come to the organisation by surprise.

He lamented that making the commission to be too much political, makes it difficult for it to do what ordinarily government agency is supposed to do.

“So, we need to look at it from that context and from that perspective, so I’m not surprised,” he said.

“The suspension did not come to us by surprise, this is because of the way and manner the previous regimes or governments have always removed the EFCC leaders when they come into power.

“For this development, with regard to the removal of the EFCC chairman, we believe that already we knew that he was going to be removed because of so many political interests and changes that can happen.”

He said that Tinubu might not likely retain Bawa because of how he was appointed and his affiliation.

“He will want to get rid of anything that has to do with that.

“Also, there are some political interests, some politicians associated with the government also have issues with the current suspended EFCC chairman and therefore they are likely not to be comfortable to have him there.”

Rafsanjani added that “the EFCC office has been unnecessarily made to be too much political.

“Therefore, it is making it difficult to do what ordinarily government agency is supposed to do.

“So, we need to look at it from that context and from that perspective, so I’m not surprised.”

Rafsanjani, however, said that “what is important is that we must insist and demand that the anti-corruption and the good work of agencies, including EFCC must continue in the country.”

He also advised the government to look beyond politics in appointing the next chairman of EFCC.

“In appointing the next one, I think first and foremost, lets make that office to be a technical professional office.

“Let’s make it less political, let us remove the use of that to settle political issues.

“I think we need to have a credibly experienced, fairly minded person to carry out that responsibility,” he said.

Recall, President Bola Tinubu on Wednesday announced the suspension of the EFCC chairman in a statement by the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

Bawa was suspended based on “weighty allegations of abuse of office” levelled against him.

Commenting on political appointments, Rafsanjani feels that a jamboree of political appointments across different tiers of government in Nigeria needs to stop.

“We cannot afford to be having this jamboree of political appointments across different tiers of government if we are serious about reducing the cost of governance.

“Recklessly appointing over 1,000 special advisers in the guise of political compensation must stop.

“This is simply because it has eaten deep into our resources and it is no longer sustainable,” he stated.

Nigerian political officeholders are prone to appointing a retinue of aides that often put a strain on the government pocket.

Recall that the Senate approved President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s request to appoint 20 special advisers (SAs) last Wednesday.

A correspondence to that effect was read by the immediate past Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, on the floor of the upper legislative chamber.

In the request to the Red Chamber, the president did not list the 20 aides, but the request received a speedy approval.

Commenting on the request, Lawan said it is of “utmost urgency” that the President has his team to work with.

Also last Thursday, the Nasarawa State House of Assembly approved the request of Governor Abdullahi Sule for the appointment of 20 special advisers.

The Speaker of the House, Alhaji Ibrahim Abdullahi said this after an emergency sitting of the House in Lafia.

Abdullahi said that the approval was to enable Sule to appoint advisers that would assist in implementing his policies and programmes for the people of Nasarawa State.

 

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