The report by the Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa that the commission secured 4,430 convictions in 19 months is commendable. Compared to the commission’s previous record, the achievement is outstanding. We wish however that many of the outstanding high-profile cases being prosecuted by the commission formed part of the statistics. But regardless, a crime is a crime, and we urge the commission to continue the trajectory to rid our country of corruption.
We however wonder why despite the high level of convictions by the commission, corruption remains endemic, especially amongst politically exposed persons. One of the most recent arraignments of a public official by the commission is that of the Accountant- General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, who allegedly stole N80 billion. Could it be that such high-profile individuals are inured to the potential conviction by the commission, or is it that they feel the EFCC’s dragnet cannot effectively catch them? It is also sad that despite the reported achievements, Nigeria’s standing on the corruption index is still highly embarrassing.
So, what more should be done to stem corruption in the country, to ensure adequate use of scarce resources for public service? Perhaps, more convictions by the EFCC and other sister prosecutor agencies. To do this, however, the commission has to be strengthened. Its officers and men must be trained continually to keep them abreast of current trends in the criminal world.