Christian leaders, others call for EFCC, ICPC merger

PROMINENT Nigerians including a member of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) and Pope of Aladura Com­munion Worldwide
(ACW), Rev. Rufus Okikiola Ositelu, have called for the merger of the
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other anti-graft
agencies, to make war against corruption effective.

Others who spoke in support of the call for the merger of EFCC with
others anti-graft agencies such as the Independent Corrupt Practices and
other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), the Code of Conduct Bureau
(CCB) were the chair­man, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN),
South-West zone, Atilade Magnus Adeyemi, and Prof. Sat Obiyan, Head of
Department, Political Science, Obafemi Awolowo Univer­sity, Ile-Ife,
Osun State.
They made the call at the 5th Rufus Okikiola Ositelu Foun­dation (ROOF)
lecture with the theme: “Fighting Corruption in Nigeria: A Mirage or
Reality” held in Lagos.
According to the speakers, it was necessary that all anti-corruption
agencies be restructured and properly geared to support Federal
Government’s resolve to rid the country of corruption.
Ositelu and others stated that Nigerians needed to support the present
administration with all their hearts, minds and souls to fight
corruption to a standstill. Ositelu also called on President Muhammadu
Buhari to beam his light on the judi­ciary for the success of
anti-corruption war.
The clergy man criticised the judiciary for its role in many court
verdicts on corruption cases, including the cases of Mi­chael
Igbinedion, Cecilia Ibru and James Ibori, which he noted had eroded the
hope and confidence of Nigerian masses, not­ing that the judiciary and
anti-graft agencies must help to deter corruption.
“Building a democratic and constitutional country should not be hinged
on a strong individual with integrity alone, but on strong and credible
institutions.
“The Federal Government has to strengthen and adequately fund
anti-corruption agencies, including the judiciary. Looters of public
treasury must be denied the benefit of permanently enjoying their
ill-gotten wealth. All their properties and mon­ies should be
confiscated and they must serve jail terms as a deterrent to those
contemplating on following their footsteps,” Ositelu said.
Prof. Obiyan, who was the guest lecturer on the occasion, said the fight
against corruption required the existence of an effective
countervailing force, plus checks and balances at ev­ery centre of
power.

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