The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Thursday, fumed over a report by the United States Department of Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour on Nigeria’s anti-graft war.
The report, which was published in a national newspaper, had dismissed the war against corruption in the country as discriminatory and ineffective.
It was entitled, ‘Nigeria: Massive, Pervasive Corruption at all Levels of Govt – US Report”.
Among other things, the report noted that “there is a climate of impunity in the President Muhammadu Buhari government that allows officials to engage in corrupt practices with a sense of exemption from punishment”.
The U.S. office was reporting on Human Rights Practices for 2018, and claimed that Nigeria made little progress in the effort to limit corruption in its public service.
Reacting, the EFCC said: “This report is not only outdated and false but also misleading.
“The report is unfounded on the grounds of Nigeria’s remarkable achievements in the last four years as the war against corruption is on course.
“The EFCC’s commitment to the fight against corruption in the last four years is not in doubt to any discerning and genuinely concerned observer.
“This commitment is benchmarked by the unprecedented record of convictions, non-conviction based forfeiture and stolen assets recovery.
“We are surprised that the US report could ignore or downplay our convictions in such a brazen manner when it claimed that the EFCC secured only 13 convictions in 2016. That is false and far from the truth.”
It added: “For the avoidance of doubt, the EFCC has secured 943 convictions since 2015 till date. The agency recorded 103 convictions in 2015, secured 195 convictions in 2016, got 189 convictions in 2017.
“It is important to state that the EFCC secured 314 convictions in 2018 including two former state governors who were sentenced to 14 years imprisonment without option of fine.
“It is instructive to note that the two former governors serving their jail terms in prison are members of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC).
“The commission has so far recorded 142 convictions as at March 19 this year. These are verifiable facts.
“We wish to state unequivocally that these convictions being celebrated included high profile persons among who were top ranking military personnel and other politically exposed persons.
“It is instructive to state that no other agency in Africa has this record of convictions and recovery of stolen assets which were achieved in spite of great encumbrances faced by the Commission in the discharge of its assignment as it has come to be known that when you fight corruption, corruption fights back.”