By AUSTIN OWOICHO Abuja
Political activist and former Deputy National Publicity Secretary to the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, has described the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) response to the President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, as “laughable “.
Saraki had dismissed the anti-graft body’s latest investigation of his tenure as Governor of Kwara State between 2003 – 2011 as a direct witch-hunt against his person, while the EFCC replied by saying that the probe was launched in public interest and the personal good of the President of the Senate.
Tony Orilade, EFCC’s spokesman, had in a statement said: “It is in the interest of the public, and for Saraki’s personal good, that he is not only above board, but be seen at all times to be so.”
However, Frank in a statement in Abuja Pooh-Poohed the EFCC’s claim that its never-ending investigative activities against Saraki was for both public and Saraki’s personal good.
He said: “The EFCC under its Acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, has since derailed from the lofty objectives for which it was set up.
“It is lamentable that what was established by law to sanitise and rid the country of economic and financial crimes has suffered a terrible hijack by puppeteers now using it to settle personal and political scores.
“How do you launch an investigation into the the legitimate earnings of a public servant who served his state meritoriously as governor from 2003 – 2011 and still claim that the move is for public interest and the subject’s personal interest?
“Nigerians are no fools. They know that Magu is out to get his pound of flesh following his non-confirmation by the Senate through an illegal and unjust investigation aimed at tarnishing the image of Saraki which he has repeatedly failed to achieve since 2015.
“Let me remind the EFCC that Nigerians are still waiting for them to investigate a bullion van that hurled humongous cash into the Ikoyi residence of a National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, during the general elections. Or are the laws and regulations of the Commission only meant for certain individuals?
“Besides, when has the “personal good” of Saraki or any citizen for that matter, become the official business of the EFCC? Was the Commission set up to look after the welfare of individuals?
“This is why I dare say without fear of contradiction that the EFCC under its present leadership has lost focus, is heavily compromised and has since abandoned the lofty objectives for which the agency was conceptualized.
“There is no gainsaying the fact that Magu is using the Saraki investigation as a bait to secure a second term in office after almost completing an illegal one foisted on the country by the worst government ever in the history of Nigeria.
“How will local and international partners respect a body that is not run according to law but the personal whims and caprices of its leader and a cabal that mean no good for the country?”
He reiterated his call on the EFCC to leave Saraki alone while urging the Commission to work in the overall interest of every Nigerian and not to use its powers to settle personal scores.
Comrade Timi Frank