The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, said yesterday that anti-corruption war is tough and demanding, also adding that every fraudster is a wounded lion who could go to any length to attack investigators.
He said though the cost of fighting corruption may be grave, the cost of not fighting it is more deadly.
He said the agency has secured 2.240 convictions and recovered assets in excess of N980billion.
Magu spoke while receiving Lifetime award from Ghana’s Chartered Institute
“Anti-corruption war is truly tough and demanding but it has its rewards. Honour is greater than gold and appreciation is more important than gratification,” he said.
“As a law enforcement officer of more than 30 years’ experience, I know what it takes to tackle corruption. This is why I always say that fighting corruption is not a tea party. It is not a cocktail party either.
“There are hazards on the job. It is by the mercy and grace of Almighty Allah that we are overcoming all the challenges the job entails.
“The greatest challenge of the anti-corruption war is corruption fighting back. The fight-back can take any dimension and it is important that we are all prepared all the time for whatever fraudsters may weave and dangle against us. Every exposed fraudster is a wounded lion and you know what a wounded lion can do!
He said that notwithstanding the difficulties in tracking corruption proceeds and prosecuting suspected looters, the EFCC under his stewardship in the last five years, secured 2240 convictions and recovered assets in excess of N980billion.
He said: “We have convicted top brass in politics, judiciary, military, civil service, academics and in the private sector.
“We have sent several oil thieves into jail to preserve our oil wealth as a nation. We have made corruption to be a fearful and dangerous engagement through our consistent crackdown on every suspected fraudster.
“In short, we have succeeded in creating a culture of caution and carefulness in the handling of financial resources, both in the public and private sectors.
“The consciousness we have created about anti-corruption cannot be quantified in money terms because it is deep, wide and large.
“We are aware that we have ruffled many feathers. We have touched the untouchables and we have dared lions in their dens. We are doing all these, not because we love dangers and death, we are doing them because we value the comfort and development which anti-corruption brings.
“We value good lives for our fellow men and women and we value better future for all our children. The costs of fighting corruption may be grave, but the costs of not fighting it are more deadly.
“This is why we continue to call on every Nigerian to enlist in the anti-graft war. A good war is a war that is waged by the majority for the good of the majority.”
He insisted that the EFCC is determined to stop looters in the country irrespective of the dangers posed to him and its detectives.
He added: “For our guests from Ghana, we appreciate you for taking stocks of what we are doing in EFCC. As Nigerian foremost anti-corruption agency, the EFCC is blazing significant trails.
“Let me state here that we have put our hands on the plough and we shall not look back. Just as I said yesterday when officials of the Nigerian Union of Journalists came on a solidarity visit to us, we will not allow looters to continue in their nefarious works. “We must stop looters and we will stop them. We will not be afraid of danger and swallow the poison of corruption. We will continue the fight and by the grace of Almighty Allah, we will succeed.
“Lastly, as a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Resources Management and Politics in Ghana, I shall strive at all times to uphold the tenets of the Institute,” he said.
In his remarks, the Executive Director of the Chartered Institute of Public Resources Management & Politics, Ghana, Dr. Richards Kpoku Akuate, described Magu as a “highly respectable, world class criminologist, erudite law enforcement officer, a visionary technocrat, renowned management expert, public service administrator.