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Thursday, 23 January 2020

Transparency International rating jaundiced, illogical — EFCC

Transparency International rating jaundiced, illogical — EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has condemned the 2019 Corruption Perception Index released by Transparency International, which ranked Nigeria 146 out of 180 countries.

It faulted the ranking and described as appalling, “the bogus and ambiguous criteria used by TI to arrive at what can best be described as a jaundiced and illogical rating”.

The acting EFCC spokesman, Tony Orilade, said in a statement, “We insist that the rating is a far cry from the evident strides and achievements so far accomplished by the anti-graft agency in the fight against corruption, particularly under the administration of President (Major General) Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).”

Also, the commission insisted that the claim and inference by TI that Nigeria ranked the second most corrupt country in West Africa is totally unacceptable, adding that it was not supported by any empirical data, “especially when placed side-by-side with the remarkable achievements of the commission in the past years”.

The agency further argued that the TI index did not show real incidences of corruption, “yet it claims that the report is a reliable indication of the perception of the Nigerian public and the international community about the state of corruption in the country”.

The EFCC contended that 2019, the year under review by TI, was particularly a remarkable one as it secured a record 1,268 convictions, including that of a former state governor and a serving senator who was convicted for defrauding his state to the tune of N7.65billion.

The agency said it is on record that three former state governors are currently serving different jail terms for defrauding their states and stealing from the treasury to enrich themselves and their cronies.

It noted, “The commission has also not given up on its unrelenting efforts to ensure that a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, is made to answer for the various malfeasance perpetrated under her, in spite of the obvious reluctance of the United Kingdom to repatriate her to Nigeria.”

The EFCC accused TI of failing to acknowledge its achievements, adding that the group has “its own hidden agenda”.

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