The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) wednesday said Nigerian politicians were behind the suspension of the country from the Egmont Group.
Its acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, stated this when he received the Director General of Inter-Governmental Action against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA), Adama Coulibaly.
Magu noted that the suspension of the Nigerian Financial Intelligent Unit (NFIU) from the Egmont Group was based on “misinformation,” by those who are hell-bent on handicapping the EFCC, and it is a case of “corruption fighting back.”
According to him, “politicians are behind the NFIU crisis, because they want to destroy the achievements recorded by the EFCC.”
In a statement late yesterday, EFCC Head of Media and Information, Wilson Uwujaren, quoted Magu saying: “The frantic move by the Legislature to take the NFIU out of the EFCC was suspicious, and borne out of an ulterior motive.
“There is a complete misunderstanding about the workings of the NFIU, and it is surprising that the new bill by the legislators pushing for removal of the NFIU from the EFCC was passed in seven days,” he said, adding that it was “a practice that has never happened in any part of the world.”
Magu further stressed that the EFCC was not at loggerheads with the NFIU.
“I have confidence in the management of the NFIU and the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering, SCUML, and the relationship is very cordial and professional,” he said, adding that the EFCC was “very much in support of the NFIU’s autonomy.”
Coulibaly pledged support for EFCC’s efforts and the Nigerian government to ensure the lifting of the suspension in the NFIU from the Egmont Group in the shortest time possible.
While commending the EFCC for championing the anti-corruption crusade in Nigeria, Coulibaly said the agency’s achievements were not only for the country, but for the African continent.
According to him, EFCC was a “key player” to GIABA, and “if this suspension is not lifted early, it is going to have a negative impact not only on Nigeria, but the West African region.
“We are here to express our support to Nigeria on this noble objective of fighting corruption,” he said, adding that Nigeria will host GIABA’s plenary between November 13 and 19, 2017,” he said.