From its Buhari 2019 badge wearing chairman, to its infamous tweet on Ekiti state Governor, Ayo Fayose and the recent freezing of the bank accounts of Benue and Akwa-Ibom state, it is evident the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is now the official intimidation arm of the APC led federal government. The last time we had such experience in Nigeria was prior the 2007 general elections when its erstwhile chairman Nuhu Ribadu was on an offensive against anti-PDP and some PDP members opposed to former President Obasanjo’s choice for the presidency. A lot of individuals were “silenced” with phony charges from the EFCC while many became regular guests at the EFCC headquarters.
Today, the situation is the same and if not worse. It has been an assumption over time that the EFCC is not truly independent as it claimed to be, but recent happenings under the Buhari presidency has shown the anti-graft body as a pro-government vendetta machine. The EFCC chairman, a man that is expected to have high moral standard without party coloration has been caught wearing the lapel of the Buhari 2019 campaign on a previous appearance on Channels TV while the EFCC has suddenly assumed the tormentor in chief of non APC states in Nigeria.
Two major incidents this week confirmed this angle. The accounts of Akwa-Ibom state and Benue state Governments were frozen few days after the two states witnessed a mass exodus of a Governor to the PDP while the former Akwa-Ibom Governor moved to APC without his anointed successor. The EFCC blocked the federal accounts of the two states without prior notice and no official injunction from any court of law, in clear violation of the constitution.
The rumor in town which the EFCC has subtly confirmed by its actions is the sudden investigation of anti-APC defectors to other political parties. What was conceived to be an anti- corruption body that has received billions of Naira in human and infrastructural support has turned out to be a political tool in the hands of the ruling party. This should not be so, but EFCC has made it so. It is important the agency retrace its steps and save itself from further humiliation like its currently experiencing from Nigerians.