Vanguard (Lagos)

28 July 2008

Nigeria: Waziri Inspects EFCC's Detention Facilities

Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mrs Farida Waziri at the weekend visited the detention facilities of the anti-graft agency in Ikoyi, Lagos with a view to ascertaining the condition of suspects in custody.

According to a statement by the Commission's Head of Media and Publicity, Femi Babafemi, " the inspection of the detention facilities was to afford the EFCC boss a direct assessment of the state of facilities, welfare of suspects and also establish that no one is being detained there illegally."

The Commission's Chief Executive has been working in the Lagos office of the anti-graft agency since last Wednesday. Since her arrival in the state, she has visited Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, Chief Judge of the State, Justice Ade Alabi among others in her bid to drum up support for the anti-graft war and get all stakeholders actively involved in the battle to free the country from the grip of corruption.

While at Ikoyi detention centre, Mrs Waziri assured inmates that her visit was to ensure they are in good condition, promising that she has called for their files to ascertain that no one is being detained outside the stipulations of the law.

"I am in Lagos to work here for some days because I know this is where about 70 percent of our activities are going on and it is here we have the majority of our officials. As such , I have to come and ensure that things are okay here.

This is why as soon as I came into Lagos, I went to see the honourable chief judge of the state to further seek his assistance on how our cases can be handled with speed, so that we can take on as many cases as we can and stamp out this menace from our country", the statement quoted Mrs Waziri as saying when addressing officials at the detention centre.

She charged them to always remain courteous to everyone they relate with, notwithstanding their status as detainees, stressing however that their integrity and commitment to eradicating economic and financial crimes in Nigeria must never be compromised.

She had earlier given the same charge to all the officials of the Commission in the Lagos zonal office at a meeting with them.

During her visit to the Lagos CJ, Justice Alabi had told the EFCC boss that she is on the path of success in her new assignment given her zeal and determination to involve all stakeholders in the battle.

"It is not a job for you alone but for all Nigerians. For me, I am devouted to all I can do to assist EFCC in the fight against corruption because we all have to make the country great", Justice Alabi stated.

Waziri had earlier in her remarks solicited for the CJ's support for quick hearing of EFCC's cases adding that "this is because there is so much to do in Lagos and we need the support of the judiciary to prosecute these cases because the success of a case is determined by the end result which is conviction."

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