Ministerial Nominee Suggests Nigeria’s Inadequate Anti-corruption Efforts, Calls For EFCC and ICPC Restructuring

Ministerial nominee Lateef Fagbemi, has called for the unbundling of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

He made this call during the screening of the final group of 28 ministerial nominees appointed by President Bola Tinubu to the Senate. Mr Fagbemi emphasized that the two agencies should not handle the investigation of criminal offences together and suggested the need for a supervisory authority within the system.

His words: “The truth must be told, you fight corruption, but at the same time, the way it’s fought in Nigeria leaves much to be desired. That is the truth. If I have my way, I will advise the President to unbundle, first of all, bring out ICPC and EFCC together and unbundle them.”

Speaking on the investigation of criminal offences, he added: “If there is an investigation, it is another body; prosecution is another body. It doesn’t augur well to ask the same authority to do the investigation and come and do prosecution. That is when we have a problem,” the ministerial nominee stated. “Investigation takes time, especially in serious corruption cases. Are we prepared to wait?

“A situation should be created such as the one that happened when Hushpuppi was arrested. They had been trailing him for years, he didn’t know and nobody will talk to him. But the day they said the time was up, he also knew that the time was up.”

He also mentioned that though investigation should be thorough, “It shouldn’t be that when a given governor leaves office, let’s go; EFCC is investigating you. That is not the way to investigate criminal matters.

“You can take your time to prosecute, but when you do not, it should be like the way an average American will react when the FBI knocks at the door.”

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