The acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, has said that politicians have devised other means of amassing wealth for electoral purposes by hiding their loot in some African countries and later selling and repatriating the money to Nigeria ahead of elections.
Magu, who was represented the commission’s Director of Planning, Aminu Guzo, spoke at the delegates’ conference of the Nigeria Labour Congress in Abuja on Tuesday.
He said the commission would work with the NLC during elections to monitor cash movement in order to curb vote-buying.
He said, “The NLC has partnered the EFCC at various events like anti-corruption walk, among other interactive sessions, strategically designed by the EFCC to strengthen our partnership with critical stakeholders, like the NLC, in the fight against corruption.
“I was in Ghana as part of this concerted effort of beaming our searchlight beyond the borders of Nigeria. What we discovered is no doubt staggering and mindboggling.
“Corrupt politicians have widened the circles of their corrupt activities by investing them in other African countries, so that in the long run, they sell them and look for ways of repatriating them to Nigeria, even in the buildup to the elections.
“We have signed a memorandum of understanding with the Economic and Organised Crime Office in Ghana to ensure that we keep track of such illicit inflow and outflow of suspicious funds.
“On our part, we are keenly monitoring the movement of cash in the system, and are awake to our responsibility of ensuring that provisions of the Electoral Act, 2010 are strictly adhered to, especially as they relate to election funding, and the now worrisome vote-buying.”
In his speech, the NLC Chairman, Ayuba Wabba, said it was important for Nigerians to support efforts of labour and other organisations meant to stop governors who diverted public funds.
He said, “Recent report of Action Aid that there is a correlation between corruption and poverty in Nigeria. Nigeria scores high in corruption perception index and scores low in human development index because the rate of corruption is high.
“The report said poverty level is high in states where governors are found guilty of misusing and converting public fund into private use.
“Nigeria is not a poor country, we are among the best around the world but the challenge is how to harness the resources for the benefit of all.
“We demand that our political elite must find a way of removing immunity against criminal prosecution, especially corruption cases for all political office holders as it is the case around the world.”
Wabba added that the NLC would continue to call on government to deal with governors found guilty of diverting money.
While commending the House of Representatives for passing the New Minimum Wage Bill, he appealed to the Senate to do the same.
Also at the event, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, said the Federal Government was determined to attain the decent work agenda, calling for the NLC’s understanding.