President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday in Abuja said his desire is to make Nigeria a country that has no tolerance for corruption, but one where the menace is vigorously battled.
Receiving the Report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry on the Investigation of Ibrahim Magu, Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), headed by retired Justice Ayo Salami at State House, Abuja, President Buhari noted that Corruption is present in all countries while Some Governments treat it with levity, some fight it all the time.
He said he want Nigeria to be counted among those countries that do not tolerate but fight corruption.
In order to protect Nigeria’s political and economic systems, and the continuous existence of the Nigerian State from the serious threat of corruption, the President called on all stakeholders, and indeed every Nigerian to own the fight against corruption at their respective levels.
Pledging that the fight against corruption is one that must be fought without fear or favour, President Buhari thanked members of the Commission for their dedication and commitment to the fight against corruption.
The President in a statement issued by his special adviser on media and publicity Femi Adesina, further said that the sad reality confronting us as a people is that there is corruption almost everywhere; at many levels of government, and nearly every stratum of our society.
The president said it was in response to the serious allegations against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission that he set up a Panel headed by the retired Justice Isa Ayo Salami, President of the Court of Appeal, via an Instrument dated 3rd July 2020 pursuant to the Tribunals of Inquiry Act (Cap T21, LFN, 2004).
In his remarks, Justice Salami said that the suspended Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, and 113 witnesses appeared and testified before the Commission, adding that 46 petitions and memoranda were presented by individuals and organisations with complaints against the suspended Acting Chairman, EFCC or both.
Justice Salami disclosed that the Commission also embarked on a nationwide physical verification of recovered forfeited assets, comprising real estates, automobiles, vessels and non-cash assets.
He commended the President for the initiative to dispose all forfeited assets ”because of the poor condition of the assets we saw during our physical verification nationwide.”
Noting that the four chairmen of EFCC since inception were from the police, the retired Justice of the Court of Appeal also recommended that in appointing a new chairman consideration should be given to candidates from other law enforcement or security agencies and core staff of the EFCC as provided in the EFCC establishment Act of 2004.
He expressed profound gratitude to the President for giving the Commission members a wonderful opportunity to serve the nation.