By Emmanuel Nduka
The US Government has faulted anti-corruption battle of President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime which is being championed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), stating that it is targeted mainly at “low-level” and “mid-level” fraudsters, especially corrupt government officials.
The EFCC which is Chaired by Abdulrasheed Bawa, was faulted in the Annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices released by the US Government.
The report posited that the EFCC has abandoned high-profile corruption cases to focus on prosecuting small-time fraudsters.
“The bulk of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s anti-corruption efforts remained focused on low- and mid-level government officials,” the report stated.
Before now, Nigerians have accused the agency of chasing after low-level internet fraudsters, while the US Government hounds high-profile corrupt Nigerians, citing the case of disgraced police chief Abba Kyari and Governor Dapo Abiodun’s moneybag Bidemi Rufai.
The US Government added that although both the EFCC and ICPC brought indictments against various active and former high-level government officials, many of the corruption cases, particularly the high-profile ones, remained pending before the courts due to administrative or procedural delays till date.
It would be recalled that in September last year, the Mr Bawa said he could not publicly mention individuals financing Boko Haram and other terrorism acts in Nigeria, casting doubts on the agency’s genuine efforts to tackle high-profile cases.
The EFCC has also gained notoriety for raiding hotels and homes of suspected internet fraudsters. In these raid, EFCC operatives have been alleged to open fire on hotel guests and grope women in the genitals to force to them submission.