UK to EFCC: Don’t take sides in 2019 elections

British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Paul Arkwright, has asked Economic and Financial Crimes Commission not to take sides with any political party ahead of 2019 general elections.

Arkwright also called on EFCC to collaborate with Independent National Electoral Commission to ensure that there is no vote buying.

The UK envoy said this when he visited corporate headquarters of EFCC in Abuja on Wednesday.

He said, “INEC and EFCC should be there to preserve the integrity of the political process, including taking forward investigations without any prejudice on one side or the other, following the evidence and taking action where it is justified.”

Arkwright further gave assurances of British Government’s support “both in technical assistance, in investigation and of course broadening support of this great independent institution of EFCC.”

The high commissioner commended the ant-graft agency for its recent achievements in tackling corruption.

“We are pleased to see how the EFCC operates, and we are assuring you of the endless support of British Government in the fight against corruption.

“UK and Nigeria have evolved and made progress in the fight against corruption, and EFCC’s achievements have been impressive,” he added.

In his remarks, acting Chairman of EFCC, Mr Ibrahim Magu, appreciated the British Government for its support, and assured him of the independence of EFCC in the discharge of its mandate.

He said, “I assure you that there is no political interference in what we do. We will continue to work with stakeholders like INEC who we have an agreement with to ensure that there is no interference to ensure free and fair elections in Nigeria and we will stop people using money to buy votes.”

According to him, EFCC operates international best practices, and “does diligent preliminary investigation.”

Magu said, “We do not invite anybody here if he is not found to be involved in one offence or crime and that is why when you come here, it takes a lot of efforts to be off the chain. Whatever case that comes to EFCC is investigated to a logical conclusion. We take the case to court which gives the final decision.”

Punch

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