The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday said it had begun investigation into a trending audiotape containing claims, allegedly made by one of its prosecutors, Mr. Mohammed Idris, about the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN).
It said the recording of what may be a conversation between Idris and a relative of a crime suspect contained “unsubstantiated claims” regarding the minister’s influence on the commission.
The Nation reports that Idris, a police officer seconded to the EFCC, handles several cases for the commission in Lagos and elsewhere.
The social media has been awash with the recording, which allegedly involves the lawyer discussing with the younger brother of a suspect facing corruption charges.
The conversation claims that the minister compromised cases of corruption in the country.
But responding the audio, EFCC Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, said: “The attention of the EFCC has been drawn to a trending audiotape in the social media, where Mohammed Idris, a lawyer and seconded police officer with the commission, purportedly made unsubstantiated claims regarding the influence of …Malami (SAN) on the commission.
“The commission wishes to state that it has commenced investigation into the content of the audiotape and will activate its internal mechanism to deal with the issues arising therefrom.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the EFCC does not condone acts of corruption. Abuse of privilege for financial gratification by personnel of the commission is a serious offence against discipline.
“Without prejudice to the outcome of the investigation, snippets from the audio recording clearly showed an abysmally compromised ‘officer’ dropping names to ingratiate his benefactor, a relative of a crime suspect. By the alleged action, the officer is no more than a corrupt fifth columnist with scant regard for the values of the commission.
“The action is contemptuous of the established Standard Operating Procedure of the EFCC. Such professional indiscretion has no place in the new EFCC. The commission encourages citizens who encounter any such unprofessional conduct by personnel of the EFCC to report to the commission in support of our quest to build a better agency.”
“Reporting such conducts has been made easy by the Eagle Eye App, a financial crimes reporting application which was launched earlier in the year. We encourage members of the public to download the App from the Apple and Google Play Store and put it to use.
“Finally, the commission wishes to assure the public that its operations are guided by established professional precepts which do not support the kind of discretion that could allow for manipulation by external actors.”