The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, says politicians defecting from one party to another would not be shielded from prosecution by the anti-graft agency.
There have been allegations that some politicians joined the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to prevent being prosecuted by the commission.
However, speaking during a parley with editors in Lagos on Wednesday, Magu said there is no hiding place for such politicians in the fight against corruption by EFCC.
A report by the News Agency of Nigeria quoted Magu as saying that “the fact that a politician jumps from one party to another will not stop EFCC investigation; we don’t stop investigation until it is concluded,” he said, according to a NAN report.
“It is only the courts that have the powers to decide on whether to exonerate or convict any indicted politician,” said the EFCC chairman.
Responding to alleged interference by the APC, Magu said he had never received any instruction to stop any investigation.
“I am not the type you’ll ask to stop any investigation”, Magu said.
The EFCC chairman said it had become fashionable for anyone being investigated for corruption by the commission to scream political persecution.
“With the general election fast approaching, the resistance has assumed even frightening dimension with political motives imputed to most of our activities,” he said.
Magu said the media owes Nigeria a duty not to allow the corrupt to deploy their ill-gotten riches to corner the machinery of government.
The EFCC chairman, therefore, urged the media not to lend their platforms to helping the cause of the corrupt that were “shedding crocodile tears”.
“We must all do what is right for our country, which is ensuring that those who steal our common patrimony are brought to justice,” Magu said.
Magu maintained that the EFCC has so far revealed only about 10 percent of the monumental corruption perpetrated in the past and urged all security agencies to prioritize anti-graft fight.
“You have not seen anything yet, we have not even touched 10 percent of corruption perpetrated in the past,” he said.
The EFCC chairman advised banks to strengthen their internal control and urged the Central Bank to re-appraise regulatory and ethical conduct of banks in order to win the fight against corruption.
On assets recovery, Magu said EFCC had recovered a total of N106.5 billion, $1.63 million, 629,000 British Pounds and 25,575 Euros this year.
Magu expressed the hope that EFCC would surpass the record of 189 convictions achieved in 2017, going by over 158 convictions secured between January and August this year.