Anti-corruption group lauds EFCC step to usher in accountability in Rivers

From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt

A Non Governmental Organisation, The Anti-Corruption Network, ACoNet has declares its support for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, as it makes plan to vacate a perpetual injunction stopping the investigations of the Rivers state government officials.

The Acting Chairman of the EFCC Mr. Ibrahim Magu, had in a recent media chat with the media in Port Harcourt, disclosed that the working effort of the commission to vacate the injunction to pave way for investigations into the management and use of finances of Rivers state government by elected official of successive administrations in the State.

In a statement signed and made available to journalists in Port Harcourt, the group leader, Green Issac narrated that “The Rivers state government had during the tenure of a former State governor, Dr. Peter Odili, On February 22 2007, through the then Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice for Rivers State filed a suit (No. FHC/PHC/CSI78/2007 sought and obtained a bizarre perpetual injunction from a federal High court restraining the EFCC and other anti-graft agencies from investigating the activities of officials of the state.

“This was clearly to shield him and officials that worked with him at the time from being made to account in any manner whatsoever, for their service to the state, in line with the very basic principles of democracy. This obnoxious injunction has since been latched onto by successive administration after the Odili’s and in this guise, supposedly elected officials have had a field day riding rough shod over the people in the State and expending the State’s resources at their whims, caprices and to their glee till date”.

The leader of the Anti-Corruption Network is therefore appreciated the EFCC authority” for the latest gesture of the commission to vacate this terrible injunction and look into the books and management of the resources of the state in line with its constitutional mandate. This is the right thing to do. It is pertinent to note that the Anti-Corruption Network, in Rovers state, ACONet, has been at the forefront of campaigns and engagements with the EFCC and other relevant institutions, to abrogate the obnoxious injunction in order to pave way for accountability by public officials to the people of the. By this development, ACoNet is glad that these campaign and advocacy efforts are beginning to yield positive outcomes.

“The Anti-Corruption Network while using this medium to express its disappointment with the disposition of the Rivers state government to the pronouncement of the Acting boss of the EFCC and condemn in strong terms the statement credited to the Commissioner for Information in Rivers state, to the effect that Anti-Graft body cannot investigate or prosecute any official of the state found wanting, the Anti-Graft body should discountenance such antics by the officials of the state as they are diversionary and replete with motives aimed at frustrating the well thought-out plans of the Anti-Corruption body which are long overdue.

“ACONet therefore pledges its support to the EFCC as it works to vacate the injunction and usher in a season of probity and accountability in public expenditure in River state. It is also in same vein, strongly urging the EFCC to go beyond merely declaring its intent and ensure that appropriate action or actions are taken to actualize this step. The Network will closely monitor progress made in this regard”.

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