ERASMUS ALANEME:

Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mrs. Farida Waziri yesterday said she was a frustrated woman as she could not discharge her duties as she would because of institutional and human inhibitions.

Mrs. Farida Waziri

Mrs. Farida Waziri,Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission

Waziri was reacted to the fatal attack on the operatives of the anti-graft agency, vowing to go against money bags and corrupt politicians come 2011 general elections.

She said: “I have a problem I have been calling out to you that I am being frustrated; I asked for special court to try the corrupt people which are not forth coming, the asset forfeiture bill that we put together at the United Nations (UN) meeting and was thrown out by the National Assembly. I am a frustrated woman.

“But I know that God in his infinite mercy because of the love of Nigerians who are the victims of the corruption in the country, the victims who cannot afford three square meal per day those who cant access medical care those who can’t afford good school for their children, those who can’t afford pipe borne water and have resorted to stream water, you have seen water borne diseases all over, the victim of the bad road, God will not allow it to continue like this, I am not scared; we are not scared,” she said.

Waziri who spoke to newsmen over the incident that led to the death of an official of the commission in Owerri, Imo State, said corrupt Nigerians should forget dreaming of vying for elective positions in the coming elections.

Saying the era of treating suspects and Nigerians without credible evidence for the wealth they throw about is over, Waziri threatened that the EFCC will no longer fight with kid gloves since the corrupt elements in the country have taken a new dimension towards frustrating efforts of the EFCC.

Waziri while addressing journalists in his office on the attack said the operatives of the commission are not afraid of attacks from corrupt politicians and will now take the fight to them.

It would be recalled that some staff of the commission were attacked last Friday on their way from a Federal High Court in Owerri where they went for the trial of Chief Herbert Nze Chikwe, husband of former aviation minister and Nigeria’s ambassador to Ireland, Chief Kema Chikwe.

Also last week, reports have it that efforts by operatives of the EFCC to re-arrest a former governor from the north on the order of a court was thwarted by supporters of the embattled ex-governor who stormed the court premises and prevented the EFCC from doing so.

Waziri alleged that some highly corrupt persons have resolved to scuttle the current reinvigorated fight against corruption in the country.

The anti-graft body lost one of its operatives in the attack while two others were injured.

The EFCC boss said: “It is important to alert the nation of the resolve of highly corrupt persons to scuttle the current reinvigorated fight against corruption in the country. While the practice has been the frustration of prosecution of cases in the courts by employing all manner of delay tactics, a dangerous dimension has now been added through the use of brute force and violence to kill, maim and intimidate officers of the commission.

“We wish to assure all Nigerians and indeed the international community that the resolve and determination of the commission to bring all corrupt elements in the country to justice can never be shaken by act of intimidation and or blackmail. We cannot therefore shirk away from such an important responsibility because of threat by the very people whose conduct has inflicted unimaginable damage on the economy and avoidable poverty on our people at large.

“We therefore call on all well meaning Nigerians to speak out against this dangerous development which if not addressed; will gestate into a much wider problem and signal a situation of hopelessness and lawlessness. A day should never come in this country when the looters of our treasury are the same people whop will dictate how our nation should be governed.

“I am not scared God give position and he takes it when he likes, but we are more determined in dealing with people who are permanently corrupt. The full of the drama and all this hype is about 2011, and by the special grace of God we won’t allow the corrupt people to be at the helms of affairs of the country.”

Waziri said the assassins which were over 15 waylaid the commission’s operatives who were coming back from a court session where Chikwe was standing trial over alleged N40million fraud.

The chairman while commiserating with the family of the lost staff said he was dully insured, disclosing that the commission was working tirelessly on how to train the core staff to use arms for self defense.

She said: “We need to remind ourselves that our nation can only overcome its challenges including corruption if we express the patriotism in us by joining hands with the relevant organs of government to work for the interest of our people.

“For those that have chosen to stay outside the country to continue to wage war against Nigeria’s anti-graft war, the EFCC or myself, they have to realize that whatever image they created for their country abroad will rub off on them because they remain Nigerians.

“No single individual is bigger than the nation and as such all attempts to distract active organs of government especially the EFCC through crooked means will fail because we are committed to our work and the betterment of our country,” she added.

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