Justice Mustapher Akanbi, first chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, ICPC, is passionate about ending corruption in Nigeria. When Tajudeen Suleiman, senior associate editor, reached out to the man on whose integrity the ICPC was built last week, he was out of the country. He went to take some rest. Some other person would have used that as an excuse not to talk to us. But ‘Baba’ was willing to share a thought on corruption war. He had always been very concerned about the scourge continuing as a parasite in the polity.
He should be, because year-in year-out the report of corruption index by Transparency International, the global body responsible for the assessment of the level of corruption in the world, puts Nigeria on the ladder of silt. Worse still, it appears the more the authorities claim to be busy cleaning up the system the more dirt clogs the drains of our public life. Yet we have two anti-graft agencies – the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC and ICPC – which names once drove fear into the plexus of the corrupt.
But since 2007 Nigerians have noticed some practised steps in the drama of anti-corruption crusaders: hound public officers to court on a chain of charges, watch as they get bail and then go to sleep. That is why the ongoing rebound of corruption war is being taken with a pinch of salt. Is it the usual grandstanding, to give the impression that there is a war on graft, which will then pale out after some time? What is actually driving this renewed activity?
The editorial board assigned Anayochukwu Agbo, general editor and head of our Abuja bureau, to handle the story. He moved round, spoke to people who should know and checked the records. His findings, and those of members of his team are contained in the story: Corruption War: EFCC’s Theatrics.
The alternate cover is on the efforts to rescue the national currency. Tony Manuaka, senior associate editor, a man schooled in financial reporting, analysed the implications for the economy, in the short and long term. His story, Rescuing The Falling Naira offers an insight into why the country’s financial managers agreed that this IMF policy was the best for the naira, just as it complements the battle against money laundering.
We wish you a blessed week!
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