ACONet LAUDS THE EFCC ON HISTORIC STEP TO USHER IN ACCOUNTABILITY IN RIVERS STATE
The Anti-Corruption Network, ACoNet in Rivers state declares its unflinching support for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, as it takes the bold step to vacate an Obnoxious Perpetual injunction wedging graft investigations, subsisting in Rivers state. The acting Chairman of the EFCC Mr. Ibrahim Magu, in a recent visit to Port Harcourt, Rivers State, declared the resolve of the anti-graft body to vacate the repugnant injunction to pave way for investigations into the management cum use of finances of Rivers state government by elected official of successive administrations in the State.
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 Anti-Corruption Network is therefore pleased at the latest gesture of the EFCC 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, it urges the Anti-Graft body to 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.
ACONet is a coalition made up of active civil society organizations that work to promote fiscal responsibility, transparency and pubic finance accountability.
The Anti-Corruption Network is a coalition of anti-corruption advocates who see the need to work with other segments of the society to address the issues of corruption in their states. They work to strengthen citizens’ actions against corruption.
Meanwhile, the Rivers Anti-Corruption Network has welcomed the new Head of the PortHarcourt Zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Mr. Usman Imam, an Assistant Commissioner of Police.
To the EFCC we say Bravo!
Ambassador Greenland Isaac