President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday has again declared that nobody is too big to be investigated in the commitment of his administration in fighting corruption in Nigeria.
This is as he declared at the State House in Abuja while receiving the report of the panel which probed allegations of corruption and abuse of office against the suspended acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu.
Naija News reports that the judicial panel of inquiry headed by Justice Ayo Salami (Rtd) which investigated allegations of financial misappropriation and abuse of office against Magu presented its report and four boxes containing exhibits to the President.
The President noted that he is aware that corruption exists in many parts of Nigeria’s system but his government remains unwavering in the fight and therefore wants all stakeholders to join hands with him in the fight against corruption.
After receiving the report, Buhari said; ”Corruption is present in all countries. Some Governments treat it with levity. Some fight it all the time. I want Nigeria to be counted among those countries that do not tolerate but fight corruption.”
While thanking the panel for their dedication and commitment, the President said further that ”the sad reality confronting us as a people is that there is corruption almost everywhere; at many levels of government, and nearly every stratum of our society. Mindful of the threat that corruption poses to us as a nation, this administration has specifically focused on the fight against corruption.
”As a government, and in furtherance of our anti-corruption programme, we have since inception engaged in many reforms in removing corruption including but not limited to the enforcement of Treasury Single Account (TSA), strict implementation of the Bank Verification Number Policy and signing unto the Open Government Partnership. A lot of efforts have gone into building and development of our anti-corruption institutions.
”We have so far kept faith with our promise and shall remain committed until Nigeria triumphs over the evil of corruption, attain a prosperous economic status and surmounts her security challenges.
”However, the stark reality of widespread corruption becomes poignant when allegations of corruption touches on the leadership of an institution set up by law to coordinate and enforce all economic and financial crimes. It is an abomination that strikes at the root, and undermines the Government’s anti-corruption programme.
”It was in response to the serious allegations against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission that I set up a Panel headed by the Honourable Justice Isa Ayo Salami, retired President of the Court of Appeal, via an Instrument dated 3rd July 2020 pursuant to the Tribunals of Inquiry Act (Cap T21, LFN, 2004).
”We recognize that there are more grounds to cover in the war against corruption, and we are prepared to go out to possess those lands by cutting off any stream that nourishes the seed of corruption and supports its growth.
”Let it be known that in the fight against corruption, no one is too big to tackle, as no individual is bigger than the Nigerian State!”
In his remarks, Justice Salami commended the President’s commitment to the fight against corruption but urged him to consider appointing a new chairman for the EFCC from other security agencies apart from the Police force which has produced all previous heads or core staff of the EFCC itself.