The Federal Government’s anti-graft war, which many have dismissed as ineffective, may have even collapsed as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, saddled with the responsibility of prosecuting corrupt men and woman, is now broke. In fact, most senior staff are disappointed in the Presidency.
Investigations by Punch in Abuja on Tuesday revealed that the EFCC had been finding it difficult to meet its obligations to the lawyers handling cases on its behalf.
The most affected are senior lawyers in charge of cases against influential politicians/suspects who are either involved in high profile money laundering or outright stealing.
One of the lawyers, who disclosed this to our correspondent on condition of anonymity, said he and some of his colleagues, were not happy with the turn of events. He said that some of them had not been paid their professional fees for long, adding that this was capable of affecting their performance in court.
“It may interest you to know that we have not been paid for long. I believe that the commission is broke,” the lawyer said.
It was also gathered that the cash crunch had seriously affected the commission to the extent that most of its enlightenment programmes on radio and television stations had been suspended. No money to pay.
The media programmes called Zero Tolerance, is used to educate Nigerians on the evils of corruption in the society. But due to lack of money, these very important programmes have been suspended.
A top source in the commission said,
“It is painful we could be in this mess. Imagine an agency fighting corruption to be financially incapacitated? It is bad. The programmes we suspended were designed to project the commission and also keep Nigerians abreast of the activities of the commission.
“But now, they are dead because we can’t pay the affected stations,"a top EFCC source cried out.
This is very interesting, since President Goodluck Jonathan and all his supporters are always quick to claim that he has not abandoned the fight against corruption, but Nigerians can see the signs clearly.