Respect for due process is a critical element to safeguard the independence and accountability of institutions. The ongoing discussions in the Nigerian Senate on the appointment of Farida Waziri as new head of the country’s anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), are needed to ensure the EFCC’s ability to fulfil its anti-corruption mandate, said Transparency International (TI), the global anti-corruption organization.
“Nuhu Ribadu provided strong leadership to the EFCC in its early years”, said Osita Ogbu, Executive Secretary of Transparency in Nigeria. “Concerns that due process might not have been followed in the appointment of a new Chair must be addressed and the process be made fully transparent, so as to safeguard the public trust in the EFCC as an independent institution that will continue to take strong action against those suspected of economic and financial crimes in Nigeria.”
Waziri, the former head of the Nigerian police anti-fraud unit and of Nigeria’s Federal Criminal Investigation Department, was recently appointed by President Yar’Adua to take over as EFCC Chair from Nuhu Ribadu Ribadu who left the EFCC in January 2008 when he was ordered to attend a year-long training course. Under the EFCC (Establishment) Act of 2004, the appointment by the President of the EFCC Chair is subject to confirmation by the Senate, which continues its discussions.
“Nigeria’s international reputation as a leader in the fight against corruption hinges on the independence and impartiality of its anti-corruption institutions”, said Doris Bäsler, TI Acting Director for Africa and the Middle East. “A strong institution needs a strong leader. The EFCC can only fulfil its mandate if its own governance procedures are seen to be transparent and accountable.”
In a letter addressed to President Yar’Adua in January 2008 Transparency International highlighted the need to further strengthen and reform Nigeria’s national integrity system.“ The ongoing discussion shows how critical the EFCC is to Nigeria’s integrity system, and we hope its mandate will be further consolidated as a result”, said Osita Ogbu.
Transparency International is the civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption.
For any press enquiries please contact
Osita Ogbu, Secretary General, Transparency In Nigeria
T: +234 806 8630889
Gypsy Guillén Kaiser, TI Secretariat
T: +49 30 343820662