Embattled Senate President Bukola Saraki has accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), of witch hunting government officials rather than investigate allegations of corruption in the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Saraki denounced the ICPC and EFCC when a delegation of the Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) led by its executive secretary, Wazari Adio, presented the organisation’s audit report to him.
“What is the ICPC doing? What is the EFCC doing? This is what is killing this country. Honestly, I just concluded that as a country I don’t think we are serious. We are just paying lip service to this issue of fighting corruption because this is the real terminology of economic sabotage.
“This is what I believe agencies that are truly fighting corruption should have taken up. Meanwhile you see them sometimes chasing a local government chairman for N10million or chasing even the state governments for less amounts.
“These are just astronomical figures and nobody is being asked where the authority came from. Even if you say it was a minister, do we have where managements of those organisations have been able to say this is not what should be done?
“There are people who are responsible in management to advise on what should be done. And these people am sure are just walking the streets up and down without anybody asking them any question. It is incredible.
“Honestly, we must begin to do something about this because unless we do that we are just wasting our time. We are just chasing areas that maybe catch news headlines but they don’t have any effect.”
Speaking further, Saraki said Nigeria was only paying lip service to the fight against corruption, vowing that the senate will fight to ensure that appropriate measures were taken to correct the anomalies that have been uncovered.
“I studied the report in the early hours of this morning, and honestly I was just dumbfounded about the figures that we are talking about.
“This is just 2013, one year’s report. It is not cumulative. In one year’s audit report you are talking about figures of over $3.8billion at that time I am sure the rate was close to N150 per dollar. So you are talking about N650billion. Then you are talking about another N358billion which brings it close to about N1trillion.
“Then you are talking about assets that were undervalued and transferred to NPDC but still no payment was made. You are talking about NAPIMS paying cash calls for an asset that doesn’t belong anymore to NNPC and you truly wonder that this is going on right under our nose here in this country.”