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Stop Targeting Our Politicians In Corruption Probe, Northern Groups Warn EFCC

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Two prominent Northern groups have issued a strong warning to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against what they perceive as a bias against Northern politicians in recent corruption investigations.

The Northern Elders Progressive Forum (NEPF) and the Northern Professionals Development Group (NPDG) expressed their concerns in a joint communique following a two-day meeting on national issues.

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The groups took specific issue with a recent report in the PUNCH newspaper, titled “EFCC Revives 13 Ex-Governors’ N772bn Fraud Cases,” which listed several Northern politicians among those facing corruption allegations.

The communique, signed by NEPF Chairman Dr. Usman Sani and read by NPDG Secretary Comrade Yusuf Abubakar Dingiyadi, stated, “We are dismayed with the recent reports and publication by the PUNCH Newspaper titled EFCC revives 13 ex-govs N772 bn fraud cases in which it published names of certain political leaders, and individuals with alleged accusations of amassing public wealth illegally without recourse to the due process and rule of law.

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“The publication has now become a big embarrassment to them, their families, political associates, and our dear nation in the quest for objectivity, a presumption of innocent, emotional, and moral psyches.

We think that certain groups of political class because of vendetta or other reasons are cheaply using some media platforms to drag the anti-graft agency image into disrepute to achieve cheap and unpopular political scores.”

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While appreciating the EFCC’s efforts in the fight against corruption, the groups cautioned against allowing the commission to become a tool for political vendettas.

They noted concerns about certain political individuals using media platforms to tarnish the image of personalities, potentially eroding the EFCC’s objectives and urged the EFCC leadership to denounce the publication and assure that investigations are not influenced by political motives.

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The groups recommended that the EFCC order petitioners and individuals making accusations to publicly sign a commitment to pay compensation if those accused are found innocent after investigation and court proceedings.

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They added, “While appreciating EFCC’s highly motivated operations and effective fight against crimes and corruption in the country so far, it is pertinent to note that, the new objectives assured by the leadership of EFCC in the fight against crimes and corruption under President Ahmed Bola Tinubu are about to be eroded by certain selfish group of political individual with access to media and investigations in the commission.

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“The commission should not allow itself to become a tool of political vendetta, blackmail or intimidation against any individual through personal grudges, persecution and campaign of calumny to tarnish the image of certain personalities or any perceived political enemies of the characters hiding behind their executive power to unleash allegations through media for public consumption and sympathy.

There are groups of people who are allegedly sponsoring such sinister motives against some of the political leaders mentioned in the PUNCH story in order to tarnish their reputation; those affected are senators Adamu Abdullahi, Danjuma Gone, Rabu’u Musa Kwankwasko, Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, Dr. Bello Mohammed Matawalle, Sule Lamido, among others.

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Most painful to see even the serving political leaders are not spared example of Dr. Bello Matawalle who has served Zamfara State meritoriously, honestly, diligently, and transparently, but his name was involved in this conspiracy by some hidden forces with the intention to destroy his good name and service rendered for the progress of his state and the country at large.

“However, we advise EFCC leadership to denounced the Punch publication and bring out a bond of assurance by ordering those petitioners, characters who allegedly accused those mentioned by the Punch Newspaper and many others to come out publicly and sign to pay compensation to those accused if after investigation and court process were found innocent from such allegations”.

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