- The EFCC has described as unsubstantiated the claims made in a trending audiotape that AGF Malami uses his influence to compromise high profile corruption cases
- Nevertheless, the anti-graft agency said it will investigate the matter just as it identified one of the voices in the tape as that of one of its operatives'
- The commission described its operative speaking in the tape as “a corrupt fifth columnist" with scant regard for its values
FCT, Abuja - The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has said it is investigating a leaked audio recording where it was alleged that the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, was exerting his influence to compromise high profile corruption cases being handled by the commission.
In a statement released on Thursday, December 23, the anti-graft agency identified the person who made the allegation in what is said to be a phone conversation with the brother to a crime suspect as Mohammed Idris.
The commission described Idris as “a lawyer and seconded police officer with the commission”.
In a trending audiotape, Idris claimed that the EFCC was being controlled by Malami, a perception that stemmed from the AGF’s roles in the appointment of the commission’s current chairperson, Abdulrasheed Bawa.
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He said this while giving assurance about how much Malami could help the crime suspect to resolve issues about his frozen accounts:
“Malami now controls the EFCC. The commission is in his hands. Once Malami speaks, the account will be unfrozen.
“They are unfreezing suspects’ accounts, including the big cases."
The EFCC operative was also heard suggesting the need for the crime suspect to get a new lawyer to pursue his case at the Court of Appeal.
However, in response, the voice on the other side of the conversation said to be the suspect’s brother, expressed how difficult it would be to change their lawyer identified as Ameh.
This, according to him, is due to the fact that Ameh was introduced to them by Malami.
EFCC reacts, says claims by operative unsubstantiated
Reacting to the recording, the EFCC in its statement signed by its spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, described Idris’ claims as unsubstantiated.
Nevertheless, it gave assurance that the matter will be investigated.
The statement reads:
“The attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has been drawn to a trending audio tape in the social media, where Mohammed Idris, a lawyer and seconded police officer with the Commission, purportedly made unsubstantiated claims regarding the influence of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, on the commission.
“The commission wishes to state that it has commenced investigation into the content of the audio tape and will activate its internal mechanism to deal with the issues arising therefrom.”
The EFCC described the officer as “a corrupt fifth columnist with scant regard for the values of the commission,” adding that his action was contemptuous of the Standard Operating Procedure of the EFCC.
The anti-graft said it never condones acts of corruption and further urged Nigerians to report acts of corruption through its financial crimes reporting application which was launched earlier in the year, the Eagle Eye App.
Nigerians react on social media
Commenting on the development on Facebook, Labaran Natiti said:
"This is a typical example of why Nigeria is not working. After swearing an oath to discharge your responsibilities, some of them end up being enablers.
"You must Also explore the possibility of establishing an internal affairs department to trap and fish out individuals like this."
Kliff Justice Omebho said:
"#EFCC, you already took side with the tune of this your publications...
"Hence, I can guess fairly correct, what the outcome of this your purported investigations on this matter will be, even before its conclusions."
Joseph Abuh said:
"What will this commission do if it found out it's true? Even Abba kyari that the FBI indicted is walking the street of Nigeria commanding boys to harass people. When you guys are ready to fight corruption, you won't need publicity."
Laura Francis said:
"There you go all you guys that are complaining - looks like someone is finally doing something about corruption at the top! I hope this makes you all happy and it sure does make ME happy. We cannot have unjust people in organizations that are SUPPOSED to be helping the citizens of it's nation! They must go!!"
EFCC drags former aviation minister to court over fake medical report
In another report, Femi Fani-Kayode, a former minister of aviation has been dragged to court by the EFCC.
The anti-graft agency on Tuesday, December 14, dragged Fani-Kayode before the Special Offences Court in Ikeja, over his alleged procurement of a fabricated medical report.
The controversial minister and member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) was about 9am marched before Justice O.O Abike-Fadipe by EFCC operatives for possible arraignment.