Alleged corruption: Start your probe from Buhari’s cabinet before inviting outgoing govs – Matawalle tells EFCC

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Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State has said the fight against corruption and probe of public office holders by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) must not be selective and partial.

He implored the commission to go after officials of the Presidency and members of the outgoing Federal Executive Council (FEC).

Matawalle was reacting to a statement credited to Abdulrasheed Bawa, Chairman of the anti-graft agency, that the EFCC had sent invitations to all outgoing governors and commissioners in a bid to commence investigation.

He said such probe should not be limited to outgoing governors and commissioners, but those working at the Presidential Villa as well.

He also said EFCC moves and actions as anti-graft agency do not inspire public confidence as it’s increasingly becoming a shelter for some unscrupulous characters.

Matawalle also urged the EFCC chairman to ensure that the investigation is not politicised and that all those who are found to be involved in corruption were brought to justice.

The statement read, “My attention has been drawn to a statement credited to the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Malam Abdulrasheed Bawa, in which he claimed he has sent invitations to all outgoing Governors and Commissioners in a bid to commence investigation into alleged corruption and abuse of office perpetrated by them while in office.

“While this is appropriate and commendable because it’s important for political office holders to account for their actions in office and EFCC is imbued with the power of investigation, however, this power must be exercised judiciously.

“The investigation must be wholistic and not selective. It is in this respect that the recent invitations and pronouncement by the EFCC Chair is imbalance, incomplete, hypocritical, and unnecessarily skewed.

“This is counterproductive to the anti-corruption crusade itself, that is if Malam Bawa is actually committed to one.

“In a bid to help the obvious knowledge-gap and inertia exhibited by the EFCC Chair, the probe should be all-embracing and cover all officers.

“I demand that the EFCC chair extend similar invitations to officers of the Presidency and members of the Federal Executive Council, which is the highest tier of government in the country.

“As I and some eminent Nigerians have evidence of corrupt practices, breach of public trust and abuse of office against him and the commission led by him.

“He should explain, for instance, how he has assumed the role of the plaintiff, prosecutor, and jury and how he has executed his brand of plea bargaining with suspected criminals and saboteurs of the Nigerian economy and agenda who instead of being put on trial, are walking freely all over Nigeria.

“It is when the EFCC Chair does this and becomes open, non-selective and all-embracing with his invitation, that will we take him seriously.

“It is only then will serious-minded officers who have served the people selflessly and meritoriously and are not opposed to an examination of their books, and indeed Nigerians generally take him seriously.

“Without this, it is just a case of another person in government who has some explaining to do himself over allegations of corruption, high-handedness, and abuse of office now asking others to account, by so doing, merely giving Nigerians a comic relief from the present challenging times they are experiencing.”