By Aminu Dalhatu
The Economic and Financial Crime commission EFCC has been advised not to allow itself to be used as a tool of political vendetta, blackmail or intimidation against individuals through personal grudges and campaign of calumny to tarnish the image of certain personalities to unleash allegations through media for public consumption and sympathy.
The Secretary, Northern Elders Progressive Forum and Northern Professionals Development Groups Comrade Yusuf Abubakar Dingiyadi gave the advice while addressing newmen at the end of their two day meeting following the recent Punch Newspaper’s publication titled “EFCC revives 13 ex- govs N772billion naira fraud case held in Kaduna
Comrade Yusuf Dingiyadi commended the efforts of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC under it new Chairman, Mr. Ola Olukoyede in the fight against corruption.
According to him, the groups have no doubts that the new EFCC boss would stick to the standard of the operation of the Commission.
He said they dismayed with the recent reports and publication by the Punch Newspaper title EFCC revives 13 ex-govs N772 billion naira fraud cases in which it quickly published names of certain political leaders and individuals with alleged accusations of amassing public wealth illegally without recourse to the due process and rule of law.
He argued that, the hurried publication has now become a big embarrassment to them, their families, political associates.
“We think that certain groups of political class because of vendetta or other reasons are cheaply using some media platforms to drag the anti-graft agency image into disrepute to achieve cheap and unpopular political scores”
“Whilst appreciating EFCC’s highly motivated operations and effective fight against crimes and corruption in the country so far,
“It is pertinent to note that, the new objectives assured by the leadership of EFCC in the fight against crimes and corruption under President Ahmed Bola Tinubu are about to be eroded by certain selfish group of political individual with access to media and investigations in the commission”
“There are groups of people who are allegedly sponsoring such sinister motives against some of the political leaders mentioned in the Punch hatched story on order to tanish their reputation; those affected are senators Adamu Abdullahi, Danjuma Gone, Rabu’u Musa Kwankwasko, Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, Dr. Bello Mohammed Matawalle, Sule Lamido, among others”
According to Dr Yusuf Dingiyadi, It was unfortunate that those who have done their best as governors to develop and make progress in their respective states are being ridiculed by some faceless groups through media trials.
“Most painful to see even the serving political leaders are not spared example of Dr. Bello Matawalle who has served Zamfara State meritoriously, honestly, diligently, and transparently, but his name was involved in this conspiracy by some hidden forces with the intention to destroy his good name and service rendered for the progress of his state and the country at large”
“Matawalle was successfully screened, and cleared by the Department of State Security and EFCC many weeks before appearing to the Senate for another screening and subsequently cleared as Honourable Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria_
He maintained that, it is pertinent to note that, those who are putting this campaign of calumny against his personality on media are just afraid of his growing popularity and acceptance, especially as Honourable Minister and political leader in the North West region and Nigeria as a whole’
“We are surprised that the same EFCC that cleared and gave him a clean slate will return through the back door to allow such alleged documents to be circulated and published by the Newspaper. It is like rubishing the Presidency, Senate, and other security agencies that worked tirelessly to ensure due process before clearing him for ministerial responsibility”
He further advised the EFCC leadership to denounced the Punch publication and bring out a bond of assurance by ordering those petitioners, characters who allegedly accused those mentioned by the Punch Newspaper and many others to come out publicly and sign to pay compensation to those accused if after investigation and court process were found innocent from such allegations.
Comrade Yusuf Abubakar Dingiyadi commended the efforts of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu over the successful current military operations going on, especially military air strikes in major hide-out of terrorists in some part of the North west.
He added that, the air strikes and ground operations in Sokoto, Zamfara and some parts of Kaduna and Niger states had yielded much success, which has tremendously forced the majority of them to leave their enclaves looking for shelter.
Comrade Dingiyadi appealed to the northern political elites, religious and traditional leaders to create an environment of political understanding, unity, and mutual respect for one another.
Emphasised the need for them not to allow political differences to destroy their common interest. unity, and survival of the region.