The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has said it is investigating a leaked audio recording where it was alleged that the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, was exerting his influence to compromise high profile corruption cases being handled by the commission. In a statement, the anti-graft agency identified the person who made the allegation in what is said to be a phone conversation with the brother to a crime suspect as Mohammed Idris.
The commission described Idris as “a lawyer and seconded police officer with the commission”. In a trending audiotape, Idris claimed that the EFCC was being controlled by Malami, a perception that stemmed from the AGF’s roles in the appointment of the commission’s current chairperson, Abdulrasheed Bawa. He said this while giving assurance about how much Malami could help the crime suspect to resolve issues about his frozen accounts. He said;“Malami now controls the EFCC. The commission is in his hands. Once Malami speaks, the account will be unfrozen. “They are unfreezing suspects’ accounts, including the big cases.”
The EFCC operative was also heard suggesting the need for the crime suspect to get a new lawyer to pursue his case at the Court of Appeal. However, in response, the voice on the other side of the conversation said to be the suspect’s brother, expressed how difficult it would be to change their lawyer identified as Ameh. This, according to him, is due to the fact that Ameh was introduced to them by Malami. Reacting to the recording, its spokesperson Wilson Uwujaren,the EFCC described Idris’ claims as unsubstantiated. Nevertheless, it gave assurance that the matter will be investigated. The statement reads:“The attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has been drawn to a trending audio tape in the social media, where Mohammed Idris, a lawyer and seconded police officer with the Commission, purportedly made unsubstantiated claims regarding the influence of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, on the commission.
“The commission wishes to state that it has commenced investigation into the content of the audio tape and will activate its internal mechanism to deal with the issues arising therefrom.” The EFCC described the officer as “a corrupt fifth columnist with scant regard for the values of the commission,” adding that his action was contemptuous of the Standard Operating Procedure of the EFCC. The anti-graft said it never condones acts of corruption and further urged Nigerians to report acts of corruption through its financial crimes reporting application which was launched earlier in the year, the Eagle Eye App.