The war on corruption is becoming a macabre dance of shame

The war against corruption embarked by the present regime may soon turn to a shameful dance going by the way the EFCC is handling it.

When they started out, many Nigerians gave them the support and urged them to go the full hog to recover our stolen funds stashed away by corrupt politicians.

They did quite well, in the beginning, giving Nigerians hope that a new Sherriff has come to town and looting of public funds would be a thing of the past.

But they soon allowed the successes to get into their heads as they did very shoddy jobs of investigations, often running to the pages of newspapers to hurriedly release details of what they had done, arresting and detaining suspects before they begin investigations.

Then came the introduction of the Whistle-Blowing policy by the government and they went into overdrive, often regaling Nigerians with how much monies they recovered but in some instances, they failed to name the owners of such recovered funds.

One wonders if they whistleblower did not know the owner of the money before informing the EFCC who would then move in to recover the stashed funds.

In March 2017, the EFCC announced the interception of the sum of N49 million abandoned at the Kaduna Airport with the owner not known. One wondered how such huge amount of money could be abandoned without a trace.

Then came the discovery of millions of Naira at a plaza in Lagos through the efforts of whistleblowers but yet again, the EFCC posted the news but said the owner of the money was not known.

A few days later, a whistleblower yet again, led them to recover millions of dollars inside the Balogun Market in Lagos as well but yet again, the owner remained anonymous.

But the one that has shown that the corruption fight could well be a charade was the discovery of  $43 million, £27,000 and N23 million by the EFCC from a building on Osborne Road, Ikoyi.

As usual, they started out by playing the 'owner is not known' gambit though they agreed that a whistleblower set them to recover the funds.

After a lot of public outcries, they came up with the name of former Governor of Bauchi State, Adamu Muazu as the owner of the house but when Muazu said he had sold the house many years ago, the name of  Esther Nnamdi-Ogbue, a former Managing Director at Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), was mentioned as the owner of the money.

Nnamdi-Ogbue immediately released a statement by her lawyer saying she has nothing to do with the money and it did not belong to her.

Trust the ever 'vigilant' Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State who came out accusing his predecessor and Transport Minister, Rotimi Amaechi as being the owner of the money gotten from the sale of properties belonging to the state and said the money should be returned to them.

And just as the dance of shame was gathering momentum, the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), came out with a ridiculous claim that the money belonged to them and was stashed in the safe house for some covert operations.

Reacting to the money which has been temporarily forfeited to the government, the NIA said that President Buhari was aware that the money was agency’s own and had even inspected some of its covert operations on which part of the money was spent.

An official of the NIA said their boss had spoken with EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu on why the money was kept in a building in a residential area:

“Such monies are kept in safe houses in residential areas so as not to arouse suspicion.  It is the practice everywhere in the world.”

Laughable as this may seem, it has further rubbished the much-publicized war on corruption because with the way things are going, it seems there is a massive cover-up.

Anyone who knows anything about covert operation should know that the National Security Adviser is always in the know of such operations but till today, Major General Mohammed Babagana Monguno, has not come out to support the position of the NIA, instead, he has set up a committee to probe the claim.

Another thing about covert operations are that they are top secrets and under no circumstances are the secrets revealed, so the NIA laying claim to the money is not only funny but an attempt to show that there is more than meets the eye in this fight against corruption.

Why is it so difficult for the EFCC to investigate their cases, get to the roots and make arrests before rushing to the press to reveal what they are doing?

What Nigerians need now to be told the truth on who own all the monies that are being recovered and they should be prosecuted for all to see that the war is not just a charade.

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