Tuesday, 21 July 2009

EFCC boss chides Rivers Governor for ‘childish' criticism

By Elizabeth Archibong

July 21, 2009 12:43PMT

The chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Farida Waziri, on Monday in Abuja described last week's criticism of her agency by the Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi, as childish.

Mrs Waziri told journalists during a question and answer session at the Commission's head office that the statement credited to Mr. Amaechi last Friday was unbecoming of a state chief executive.

The Rivers State governor had, during a visit by the leadership of the Nigerian Bar Association, criticised the anti-graft boss for allowing the investigation of officials of his state government by the Commission's operatives.

"We will not allow them (EFCC) into Rivers anytime, because there is a judgment and before they can come here, they have to vacate the judgment," Mr. Amaechi was quoted as saying.

No stepping back on cases

The anti-graft chairperson, however, said the threat will not work with her officers.

"No amount of attack from the governor or any of his officials will stop us from carrying out our statutory responsibilities anywhere, including Rivers," she said. "I believe the governor should talk more like a matured person occupying an exalted office. If he has nothing to hide, I don't see any reason why he is shielding his officials from investigation. We can understand his own case, that he currently enjoys immunity, but then he shouldn't jubilate too soon."

Mrs Waziri also said the commission was not going to hands off in the N5 billion fraud case against Nyesom Wike, the chief of staff to Mr. Ameachi, which was recently quashed by a high court.

Mrs Waziri said the anti-graft agency had not only taken steps to remove all intolerable orders hindering the effective discharge of its responsibilities, but will also take Mr. Wike's case to the appellate court.


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