In his New Year address to the staff members of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ola Olukoyede, the Chairman of the commission, expressed concern over the growing trend of gratification and bribery among some investigators. He issued a stern warning, urging those involved to discontinue such practices or face sanctions.
Olukoyede acknowledged the challenging year faced by the EFCC in the previous year but emphasized that the commission had successfully stabilized its system and introduced fresh initiatives and policies since his appointment as chairman in the last quarters of 2023.
The chairman outlined a three-pronged agenda and blueprint for the EFCC’s new policy drive. The first focuses on the mandate of the EFCC, emphasizing the global objective of combating corruption to drive economic development, create wealth, and generate job opportunities. Olukoyede stressed the crucial role of the EFCC in the nation’s growth and development, urging staff to remain committed to this objective.
The second plank of the policy direction involves establishing responsible, accountable, and transparent governance mechanisms at various levels. Additionally, the EFCC aims to build and enhance Nigeria’s international image, making it an attractive destination for foreign direct investments. Preventive measures against corruption, adherence to the rule of law, and public engagement are highlighted as imperative for achieving these goals.
Olukoyede emphasized the need for a transactional credit system as a means of preventing corruption and encouraged Nigerians to participate actively in this area. He underscored the importance of the preventive modality, highlighting ongoing restructuring efforts within the Commission.
The chairman also addressed the importance of staff familiarizing themselves with the commission’s reviewed guidelines for arrests and bail. He warned against any form of infraction, particularly in relation to requests for gratification and receiving bribes, stating that he would not hesitate to take disciplinary action.
Highlighting the importance of discipline, integrity, and responsibility in their work, Olukoyede acknowledged public opinions regarding the conduct of some investigators and stressed that the quest for gratification and compromises must cease. The Department of Internal Affairs has been directed to monitor staff engagements more closely to safeguard the image of the Commission.