Home » HEADLINES » Latest HRW Report on Nigeria: EFCC ineffective

HRW report on Nigeria: Corruption on trial?AFP - Nigeria’s main anti-corruption agency has been hobbled by incompetence, internal graft allegations and suspicions of political interference, according to a report by Human Rights Watch released Thursday.

The report examining the work of the country’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) paints a bleak picture when it comes to prosecuting high-profile politicians in one of the world’s most graft-ridden nations.

It says the commission has only managed four convictions of nationally prominent political figures since it was established in December 2002, and those convicted have faced little or no prison time.

“Other senior political figures who have been widely implicated in corruption have not been prosecuted,” the report says.

“Despite its promise, the EFCC has fallen far short of its potential and eight years after its inception is left with a battered reputation and an uncertain record of accomplishment.”

The US-based rights group also points out that the commission faces enormous obstacles in carrying out its work in Nigeria, where corruption is deeply rooted and part of everyday life in all levels of society.

“At a fundamental level, Nigeria?s political system continues to reward rather than punish corruption,” it says of Africa’s most populous nation and the continent’s largest oil producer.

It restates the claim by former EFCC chairman Nuhu Ribadu that more than $380 billion was lost to graft and mismanagement from independence in 1960 to the end of military rule in 1999.

The report makes reference to graft allegations against the EFCC under the current chairwoman, Farida Waziri, as well as the widespread perception that she has been ineffective.

It says it could find no concrete evidence of corruption, but calls for President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration to examine Waziri’s performance.

Reacting to the report, EFCC spokesman Femi Babafemi said its finding that the commission has secured only four convictions of high-profile political figures was too narrow.

He argued that certain convictions of business people as well as heads of state agencies should also qualify as high-profile, pointing in particular to Oceanic Bank ex-chief Cecilia Ibru.

Ibru, from one of the country’s most prominent families, was sentenced to six months in prison last year and ordered to forfeit funds and assets worth some 1.2 billion dollars.

Babafemi declined to comment in detail on the internal graft allegations, saying they were rumours with no proof.

“Some of these allegations are made by people who are either being investigated by the commission or made by people who have one grievance or another against the commission,” he told AFP.


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3 Responses to “Latest HRW Report on Nigeria: EFCC ineffective”

  1. Barrister Israel Mbaebie August 30, 2011

    I am truly not surprised by this finding.I have had instances of handling briefs that have to do with the anti graft body.My conclusion: They have little or no respect for the fundamental rights of suspects.Sometimes, they make bail conditions even stiffer than that of conventional courts.In some instances, you may not get to see your client for up to three days of regular visit especially at their Idiagbon House headquarters in Abuja.Most especially, the body has enmeshed itself in non graft matters.Some petitions there are simply politically motivated and uncalled for.Anybody with the “right connections” can have their petitions handled by the Commission.It has simply lost focus.The Waziri woman in simply incompetent.I can provide more detailed info if needed.

  2. Stephen Olushola September 7, 2011

    Can we say that the Human Rights Watch are getting it right to The report examining the work of the country’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) paints a bleak picture when it comes to prosecuting high-profile politicians in one of the world’s most graft-ridden nations if yes or no we need to follow up the resent case of the Lagos state speaker of the Hose of Assembly if the (EFCC) Failed totally to call for his step down to allow the direct investigation do please follow me to call for Adeyemi Ikuforiji to step down immediately. The Speaker of the Lagos State House of ASSEMBLY Adeyemi Ikuforiji most step down immediately to give way for a very urgently inquiries and investigation about the alleged of embezzling of the sum of N7 billion (about 47 million USD) Doctor Alhaji Chief Honorable or whatever is your tilted if you fill that you are innocent do please step down as the Speaker of the Lagos State House of ASSEMBLY Eyes are on Nigeria Citizens both home and abroad about frauds and embezzling of funding we know very well the Lagossian mostly those from Epe division are very experts in this material and since the days of our independent up to date in the central of Lagos (Oluwole) you may find whatever documents made under frauds industry the frauds industry in Nigeria is costing the federal government more than an annual budgets of some other Africa Nations the question is that: Is it true that you Adeyemi Ikuforiji the Speaker of the Lagos State House of ASSEMBLY alleged engaged in the embezzling of the sum of N7 billion (about 47 million USD)? If yes you must be ready willing to vacate you house in Ikoyi and in Epe to move to Kirikri maximum prison If no you will return to you elected political post as the speaker after the investigations Mr. Doctor, Alhaji Honorable Speaker do please step down with immediate effects.

    To clear your name and the name of the local government you represented the state you represent and the country you are which is Nigeria the world open eyes are on Nigeria as the most corrupts countries in the world we are number 134 last year 2010 with 2.4 the same with Zimbabwe and the Philippines