Former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Kanu Agabi (SAN) has urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to be resolute in its efforts to rid the country of economic and financial crimes.

Agabi, who was a special guest at the anti-graft agency’s maiden “Rewards and Recognition” ceremony held at the EFCC Academy, Karu, Abuja, on Monday, December 22, 2014, noted that building Nigeria was a collective effort, and EFCC had a pivotal role to play.

He said, “Our country is ours to build, and you are in the remarkable position, having been appointed to investigate and prosecute all those who undermine that work through corruption.

“Our laws are not self-enforcing, they require good men and women to enforce them, and you of the EFCC are the good men and women that the nation has appointed to see to the enforcement of our laws.”

Agabi, in whose tenure as AGF the Commission was established in 2003, expressed delight that the EFCC, which though faced teething problems at its inception, had grown to become an institution of repute within and outside the country.

No fewer than 306 staff members of the EFCC were honoured at the ceremony for serving the Commission meritoriously in various capacities.

While 87 of the awardees were pioneer staff, 161 staff members were celebrated for meritoriously serving the Commission for the past 10 years.

Other categories of awards include: Commendable Achievements, 34; Outstanding staff, 10; Noteworthiness, 5; Award for Meritorious Service Ex-staff Category, 7; Award for Outstanding Performance, Ex-staff Category, 2.

Lagos Zonal office received commendation for being a model and distinguishing itself by securing the most number of arrests and successful prosecutions in court. 

In his opening remark titled “We are called to serve”, Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Lamorde described the ceremony as 11 years in the making. He said that right from inception, the Commission took a conscious decision to be different; thereby throwing a challenge to chart a totally new path in law enforcement in Nigeria.

“Consequently, we have set a very high standard for our staff, not only at the point of entry, but also in the discharge of their duties and for them to continue to stay employed with the Commission”, Lamorde said.

He added that, “The EFCC that only a few were willing to give a fleeting chance of succeeding eleven years ago, is today an institution of reckoning in law enforcement, with operations, partnerships and influence stretching across and beyond the African continent.”

According to Lamorde who said the reason for the gathering was to say “thank you” to former and present staff, friends and stakeholders who have distinguished themselves in their varied contributions to EFCC collective aspirations, “we are also here to remind ourselves that as far as the EFCC is concerned, anything less than excellent is unacceptable”.

Former EFCC chairman, Nuhu Ribadu, who was returning to the EFCC for the first time after his exit was also one of the awardees.

He said he doesn’t believe that there is an institution in Nigeria that has given hope and still gives hope to Nigerians than the EFCC. “We believed we have clean hands and therefore we can clean the dirty faces of Nigerians”, he declared.

Describing the event as a joyous moment, Ribadu admonished staff of the Commission to be steadfast in their commitment to the fight against corruption.  “The EFCC remains my family, and no matter how long, your good efforts will be rewarded, don’t worry, continue to do your job no matter the circumstances, and you will surely be rewarded,” he said.

He also used the opportunity to appreciate former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Mr. Femi Falana, General Aliyu Gusau, and late Gani Fawehinmi, for believing in the vision of the EFCC to rid the country of economic and financial crimes.

Mr. Abdullahi Yola, who is permanent secretary in the Ministry of Justice, described the EFCC as an institution of great relevance in reshaping the image of Nigeria among the comity of nations.

He said, “The EFCC has undoubtedly proven to be a capable instrument in achieving good governance in Nigeria.”

To Emmanuel Akomaye, pioneer Secretary to the Commission, the work of the EFCC is not like any other. He said “the EFCC demystified the concept of big man. The EFCC either took justice to the corrupt or bring the corrupt to justice”. He admonished the officers not to despair or be frustrated in spite the attack as he likened corruption to a bigger monster In Nigeria.

Media & Publicity
22nd December, 2014