Former Governor of Anambra State, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife, yesterday took a swipe at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), accusing the agency of harassing prominent politicians, businessmen and professionals of Igbo extraction in the build up to the politics of 2023.
Ezeife, who spoke on the sidelines of a meeting of the Igbo Elders Council in Abuja, said the anti- graft agency has launched a deliberate campaign of calumny through the invitation of prominent Igbo politicians for quizzing over allegations of money laundering.
In recent weeks, at least two prominent politicians from the South East, namely former Governor of Anambra State, Mr Peter Obi and former President of the Senate, Chief Anyim Pius Anyim, have received invitations at different times to appear before the EFCC on allegations of money laundering and tax evasion.
According to Ezeife, the invitation extended to these politicians by the EFCC and the media trial that usually follows were calculated to smear their names and present them as unfit to seek public office, especially the Presidency of Nigeria. The South East has been clamouring to have the Presidency zoned to the region and a number of politicians from the region have indicated interest in vying for the highest office in the land.
He said: “The people that we are hoping to come out and campaign for the Presidency, many of them have been summoned by the EFCC. “This is what we are talking about. This is what Igbo people are saying- that they are being pushed out of the Nigerian system. I hope you have looked at the list. How many prominent Igbo have been called by the EFCC recently?
“I am telling you what is happening in this country. If you take a list of new appointments in Nigeria, you will find a vacancy of Igbo names. If you take a list of people removed from office, you will find dominance of Igbo names.
This has been on.” Ezeife described the arrest and quizzing of businessman and socialite, Obi Cubana by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday as an attempt to pull him down after his fame rose high among Nigerians. He also described the recent invasion of the residence of Justice Mary Odili by some yet to be identified security operatives as an attempt to mess her up and destroy her chances of rising on the leadership ladder of the nation’s judiciary.
According to him, many Igbo personalities had been deliberately targeted for destruction by certain interests in the past.