Hard fighting anti-graft agency, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has dismissed insinuations that an official of the agency was involved in the alleged scandal uncovered in the Presidential Committee on Arms Procurement.
Denying the claim via a statement, EFCC said the plot to rope in its acting chairman was a way of corruption fighting back.
According to the agency’s head of media and publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, only the commission’s acting chairman, Ibrahim Magu, is a member of the Arms Procurement Committee and has served without any blemish.
EFCC is making the clarification following the arrest of a member of the committee, Air Commodore Umar Mohammed (retd) by the Department of State Service (DSS).
The retired Air Force officer, who has been detained based on intelligence report received by President Muhammadu Buhari, is under probe for allegedly cutting corners and intimidating suspects under investigation by the Presidential Committee on Arms Procurement.
The Air Force chief is also in trouble following a petition by an American company.
“The attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has been drawn to a report entitled, “DSS nabs member of Presidential Committee on Arms Procurement over alleged fraud,” which appeared on page 10 of Thisday newspaper of June 21, 2016, regarding the arrest of Air Commodore Umar Mohammed (rtd.), for alleged fraud.
“The report, quoting anonymous sources, alleged that Mohammed who is a member of the arms procurement committee, is ‘fronting for some members of the committee’, including ‘high ranking officials in the EFCC and ONSA’.
“Though the report falls short of naming the so-called officials that Mohammed is allegedly fronting for, it is common knowledge that the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, is the only member of the Arms Procurement Committee from the Commission.
“The EFCC views with grave concern this spirited attempt to create doubts in the minds of less discerning Nigerians and member of the international community regarding the integrity of its acting Chairman.
“To all intent and purposes, this devious report is another avenue of corruption fighting back as some people have been uncomfortable with the uncompromising stance of the Acting EFCC Chairman in the fight against corruption.
“The EFCC wishes to categorically state that no official of the agency that is directly or remotely connected with the work of the Arms Procurement Committee haS had any dealings that verge on fraud with Air Commodore Mohammed or any other member of the Committee. It challenges anybody with contrary information to come forward with the evidence.
“The EFCC as a body upholds zero tolerance for corruption and will not condone any act that amountS to corruption. If Mohammed is established to have engaged in any illegal activity, he should be held liable.
“In view of the gravity of the issues, the EFCC calls on the Presidency to set up a high-powered inquiry to verify the claims of the report and those who have made it their sole business to impugn the integrity of others and cast doubt on the credibility of the anti-corruption war.
“No matter the distraction and attempt by dark forces to derail its work through negative propaganda, the commission will continue to discharge the mandate freely given to it by the Nigerian people to hold all public officers accountable.”
The anti-graft agency asked the Presidency to raise a high-powered inquiry into the scandal.
EFCC has revealed how Ayodele Fayose and Musiliu Obanikoro got N4.745bn from the arms deal scandal.