Probe not instant, requires thorough investigation, EFCC tells protesters

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has revealed that probes into corruption cases, including the case of the Minister of State for Defence, Bello Matawalle, over alleged N70bn fraud, require thoroughness.

The spokesperson for the anti-graft agency, Dele Oyewale, made this known on Wednesday while speaking to members of the Tinubu Youth and Women Network who protested against the EFCC’s delay in the probe of Matawalle on Wednesday, May 15, 2024.

 

The EFCC spokesman added that the demand of the protesters would be communicated to the commission’s chairman, Ola Olukoyede, adding that the right thing would be done concerning the matter.

 

Oyewale said, “Investigations as far as anti-corruption work is concerned, is not a press-button thing. Investigations have to be detailed, they have to be thorough, fully integrated and broad-based. You have aired your views, and we will do what we’re supposed to do.

“We’ll convey your message to the executive chairman. As you can see, the admin has been doing marvellously well, and it’ll do more. Every single thing that you have addressed in your letter will be conveyed to the appropriate quarters, and I can assure you that the right thing will be done.”

 

On May 18, 2023, the EFCC, through its then Director of Media and Publicity Affairs, Osita Nwajah, had said it was probing corruption activities, award of phantom contracts, and diversion of over N70bn allegedly carried out by the minister during his tenure as Zamfara State governor between 2019 and 2023.

 

Members of the Zamfara Alternative Forum had staged a protest at the EFCC headquarters in January, asking the Commission to probe the financial activities of the former governor.

Meanwhile, during Wednesday’s protest, members of the Tinubu Youth and Women Network, said the group was formally requesting that the EFCC reopen the investigation into the corruption allegations against Matawalle.

 

The group, led by Aliyu Yunusa, noted that its primary focus is to collaborate with the government to identify and address incidents of corruption within the system to ensure transparency and accountability.

 

The group said, “We are committed to working towards the eradication of corrupt practices by actively engaging in efforts to hold those who engage in corrupt activities accountable.

 

“Bello Matawalle served as the Governor of Zamfara State from 2019 to 2023. During his tenure, there were allegations of mismanagement of public funds and resources.

“It is on record that on May 18, 2023, the EFCC, through its then Director of Media and Public Affairs, Osita Nwajah, stated that the EFCC is investigating Governor Matawalle over allegations of massive corruption, award of fictitious contracts, and diversion of over N70 billion.

 

“As party loyalists, we want the EFCC to investigate the matter and bring justice to those responsible for the mismanagement of public funds. This will serve as a deterrent to others considering engaging in corrupt practices in public office, especially considering what happened to the humanitarian minister.”

“Bello Matawalle served as the Governor of Zamfara State from 2019 to 2023. During his tenure, there were allegations of mismanagement of public funds and resources.

 

“It is on record that on May 18, 2023, the EFCC, through its then Director of Media and Public Affairs, Osita Nwajah, stated that the EFCC is investigating Governor Matawalle over allegations of massive corruption, award of fictitious contracts, and diversion of over N70 billion.

 

“As party loyalists, we want the EFCC to investigate the matter and bring justice to those responsible for the mismanagement of public funds. This will serve as a deterrent to others considering engaging in corrupt practices in public office, especially considering what happened to the humanitarian minister.”

 

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