Monday, November 28, 2011

Firing of Anti-Corruption Czar Won’t Fix Agency

23 November 2011

Broad Reforms Needed to Make Commission Credible

One of the EFCC’s greatest weaknesses has been its lack of independence and susceptibility to political pressure. President Jonathan’s sudden firing of Farida Waziri will only make that problem worse unless the government pushes through reforms to bolster both the EFCC and the other institutions it depends on.

Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch (Lagos) – The sudden dismissal of Nigeria’s controversial anti-corruption chairman will not fix the troubled agency she led, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should carry out broad institutional reforms if Nigeria is to make real progress against corruption.

On November 23, 2011, President Goodluck Jonathan dismissed Farida Waziri, chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The commission’s record in fighting high-level corruption has been consistently disappointing under both Waziri and her well-regarded predecessor, Nuhu Ribadu, Human Rights Watch said. Partly due to the commission’s own failures, it has been largely unable to secure convictions against senior government officials charged with corruption. As Human Rights Watch showed in a recent report on the institution’s problems, broader institutional failures – such as executive interference and judiciary inefficiency – will need to be addressed if the commission is to improve its anti-corruption record, Human Rights Watch said.

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