The Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, has picked holes with a recent survey conducted by a Non-Governmental Organisation, NGO, which rated the anti-corruption agency among the most corrupt government agencies in the country, saying the finding was “misleading” with the intent to “impinge the integrity” of the commission.
CLEEN Foundation, in its 2013 National Crime Victimization and Safety Survey published on Monday with support from the MacArthur Foundation, rated the EFCC as the sixth government agency likely to demand a bribe with 23 per cent propensity to demand bribe.
Similarly, the survey found the Nigerian Police Force to be the most corrupt agency with 33 per cent propensity to demand bribe followed in descending order by the Nigeria Immigration Services (26 per cent); Independent and Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC, (25 percent); Nigeria Customs Service (24 per cent); and Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, (23 per cent).
The EFCC, however, says it disagrees with the outcome of the survey.
A statement signed by EFCC’s head of media and publicity, Wilson Uwujaren read, “The Commission considers its integrity as a core value and has toiled relentlessly to sustain its reputation as an effective law enforcement organisation with zero tolerance for corruption. It will therefore not fold its hand while some arm chair researchers desperate to justify a grant, use the result of a spurious survey to cast aspersion on its integrity”.
While accusing CLEEN Foundation of making “sweeping conclusion” generated from” friends and cronies”, the EFCC spokesman challenged the organization to make public, details of the questionnaire it used in conducting the survey.
“If we may ask, how many people in Borno, Ekiti , or Cross River states have come in contact with operatives of the EFCC to be able to make informed opinion as to whether they are corrupt or not? Which towns, local governments and wards did the survey cover? What questions were asked; what response evaluation methods were used?” the anti-graft agency asked.
While vouching for the integrity of its operatives, the EFCC noted that it was dealing with rampant cases of impersonation of its operatives which might have influenced the notion that the commission was corrupt.
The statement, however, urged members of the public to report operatives of the commission caught demanding bribes.