The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, yesterday reacted to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s disapproval of the ‘Anti-Corruption Ambassador’ award bestowed on him by the commission’s National Assembly Liaison Officer, Suleiman Bakari, on Tuesday.
The EFCC in two separate statements on Wednesday, said Bakari acted on his own in the investiture of Mr. Ekweremadu as an ‘Anti-Corruption Ambassador’, saying it was not in the business of awarding titles to individuals or politicians for that matter.
The anti-graft agency then vowed to carry out ‘strict’ administrative action on its errant officer.
But Ekweremadu in a statement by his media aide, Uche Anichukwu, insisted that Bakari decorated him on behalf of the commission’s management.
“We want to put it on record that Mr. Suleiman Bakari and his team applied for and subsequently paid a courtesy call on the Deputy President of the Senate in his office on Tuesday, April 19, 2016. Mr. Bakari, amongst other issues he raised, solicited the support of the Senate and National Assembly towards the anti-corruption crusade of the present administration, and even presented a frame with a bold picture of President Muhammadu Buhari, bearing the inscription: ‘If we don’t kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria’.
“Mr. Bakari also, on behalf of the Acting Chairman, management, and staff of the EFCC, decorated Senator Ekweremadu as an anti-corruption ambassador of the EFCC.
As for the purported claim by the EFCC spokesperson that the agency had never and could not have decorated anybody as an anti-corruption ambassador, since, according to him, ‘the commission is not in the habit of awarding titles to individuals’, we wish to refer him to December 7, 2007, when the Nuhu Ribadu-led EFCC conferred the Role Model Award in the fight against corruption on certain persons, including a former president of the senate, a taxi driver, and a former justice of the Federal High Court at the Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja”, the statement said.
Mr. Ekweremadu stressed that denial by the EFCC coming in two different statements within a few hours is “baffling, inexplicable, and contradictory”.