The Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Lamorde has reiterated the resolve of the Commission to partner with the civil society in the fight against economic and financial crimes in the country.
Lamorde made the assertion on Wednesday, November 26, 2014 at the EFCC Academy, Karu where the Commission signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a network of civil societies across the country, which effectively marks a re-launch of its anti-corruption programme, formerly known as Anti-Corruption Revolution Campaign, ANCOR.
While noting that ANCOR which was launched in December 2008 provided a platform for engagement of diverse citizen groups to key in and imbibe such positive virtues like probity, integrity, modesty, etc, necessary for positive national change, Lamorde however regretted that the programme was bedeviled with several challenges.
“There were for instance, cases of outright abuse of the programme by some of the members who fraudulently procured vehicles, sewed their own uniforms, opened their own offices where they received and investigated petitions, interrogated ‘suspects’, and extorting innocent members of the public. The Commission is currently prosecuting some of such unscrupulous for members of ANCOR,” he stated.
The new body that has now emerged from the ashes of the ANCOR is: Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Support Network (ACE-Network).
Pledging total commitment to the MoU, the EFCC boss said the Commission believes community and public power are the most effective catalysts for initiation and sustenance of the much needed ethical reforms in the country.
Speaking on behalf of the CSOs, the Chairman of Network of Civil Society in Nigeria, Suraj Olanrewaju who described the occasion as epoch making, said the MoU was not just between the Commission and civil societies, but should involve the Nigerian government and its people.
“There is a concern about the situation of corruption in Nigeria, the effect on our image among the international community is enormous and so, the fight against corruption is beyond EFCC and government.”
He stressed that the MoU is a critical independent engagement that will challenge both the EFCC and CSOs to hold each other accountable by monitoring themselves and exchanging positive criticisms.
Speaking also at the occasion, a representative of the World Bank Country Representative in Nigeria, Roland Lomme, said his organization is a critical partner in the fight against corruption because of its belief that corruption has a direct effect on development. He lauded the MoU, saying such interaction and collaboration was necessary for meaningful result in the fight against corruption.
“We wish you luck and are keen on seeing practical result emanating from this engagement.” he said.