Cooperation of all critical to fight corruption, says EFCC boss

Cooperation of all critical to fight corruption, says EFCC boss

 Mr Ibrahim Magu, the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), said on Tuesday that the cooperation of Nigerians was necessary to fight corruption in the country.

He stated this in Abuja at a workshop on economic and financial crime reporting, organised by the commission for journalists on its beat.

Magu said the workshop was designed to build the capacity of journalists covering the commission, considering the challenges they face in reporting the commission’s activities.

He said the fight against corruption was not about the commission or about an individual, but about Nigeria as a nation moving forward.

The EFCC boss, however, said that the commission was opened to constructive criticism, saying that this would make it make amends where necessary in its fight against corruption.

He said that though not all Nigerians had confidence in the commission, it would strive to succeed in exposing and convicting corrupt public office holders.

“You can`t expect everybody to key in because some people do not believe that corruption is wrong; but a greater number of Nigerians are with us and we will succeed sooner or later.

“When am wrong, please tell me because it is easier for you to correct my wrong doings.

“I want to hear the wrongs we have done so that we can correct them because we are human beings and there are no perfect human beings.’’

According to Magu, the commission is already succeeding in its fight against corruption because some form of attitudinal change is being enthroned in the country.

This, he said, was especially so because impunity and recklessness in public administration and finance were being curbed and was not as rampant as before.

Magu said that even in his acting capacity, he was determined to do more for the commission.

Mr Ibagan Isine, a Senior Editor in Premium Times and a speaker at the workshop, urged the commission to be opened to the media always.

Isine, who spoke on a topic titled: “Journalism and the fight against corruption; lessons from other lands,’’ said it was critical to avoid speculative reporting.

He stressed the need for journalists as gate keepers to investigate every aspect of the commission’s statement before publishing.

He advised journalists to also get documents to substantiate information given by a source that pleaded anonymity.

Another speaker, Mr Azu Ishiekwene, Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of the Interview, however, said that it was unfortunate that most corrupt cases were not reported in the country.

He attributed this to lack of trust on some investigative institutions, fear of reprisal and poor remuneration of journalists when they consider what they stand to gain from corrupt persons.

Ishiekwene said there was need for the independence of anti corruption agencies to enable them gain public confidence.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the workshop was organised for journalists from different media organisations covering the EFCC.

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