The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has stated that it is closely monitoring the spending patterns of top politicians in order to prevent situations in which they would use funds to influence the electoral process as politicians intensify campaigns ahead of the general elections in 2023.
Goldennewsng reports that Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa, the EFCC chairman, stated that the commission is careful not to question some of them to avoid being interpreted as political witch-hunting.
He confirmed that the anti-graft agency is currently critically examining a number of petitions against prominent political figures that have already been submitted to the commission.
During his appearance on Thursday at the weekly briefings coordinated by the Presidential Media Team at the State House, Abuja, he confirmed the development by stating that the Petitions Vetting Desk/Committee of the EFCC, comprised of experienced officers from the Legal Department in addition to those trained to investigate such petitions, is currently reviewing these petitions to determine whether they have merits that will warrant prosecution.
Bawa claims that the EFCC is examining each petition to determine its veracity and emphasizes that the anti-graft agency he heads is prepared to work for Nigerians’ interests without favor or favoritism.
When asked if the EFCC had received any petitions opposing any of the 18 candidates vying for the presidency by 2023, Bawa responded simply, “Yes.” My concern is whether, at this time, we should begin inviting all presidential candidates to make statements in our office. The same media will claim that it is motivated by politics.
Therefore, we are not politicizing it; rather, we are secretly examining the petitions we have received to determine which ones have merit.
“This is another reason why we have what we call the Petitions Vetting Desk/Committee. It is made up of experienced officers from the Legal Department as well as people who have been trained to investigate. Before they make a recommendation about whether these petitions will be prosecuted by the EFCC, they will check to see if they are in line with our own mandate.
“There are also benchmarks, so to speak, that guide our procedures, you know, in terms of accepting or rejecting petitions,” the spokesperson continued. “We also have criteria that have even been publicized to guide petitioners on the requirements to make a petition have merit.”
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