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Graft: Our morale dampened by Nyame, Dariye’s pardon –EFCC officials

More knocks trailed the recent presidential pardon granted to two former governors- Jolly Nyame (Taraba), and Joshua Dariye (Plateau) – as officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), alleged that their morale and commitment to work have been dampened by the controversial presidential gesture. Recall that both Nyame and Dariye were convicted and jailed for stealing state funds during their stay as helmsmen in Taraba and Plateau states respectively


. Nyame and Dariye were pardoned by President Muhammadu Buhari last week while the duo were still serving their jail terms. Dariye, 64, and Nyame, 66, were convicted for mismanaging public funds while they were governors of their states. However, Dariye, during his arraignment at the FCT High Court Gudu, in Abuja on June 12, 2018, was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment for fraud and misappropriation of funds.


On Thursday last week, at the National Council of State’s meeting held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, President Buhari had granted pardon to the two former governors, as well as 157 others, on the grounds of health and age. By granting them pardon, insiders felt that President Buhari, who rode to power on the campaign of fighting corruption, had dampened the morale of the officials of the anti-graft agency.


In separate interviews granted an online news  portal, African Examiner, officials of the anti- graft agency accused President Buhari of ‘allegedly sabotaging’ the anti-corruption fight with the pardon.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of victimisation, noted that the presidential pardon would go a long way in demoralising the zeal of most personnel handling such sensitive cases. “We used to say our problem in our work against corruption is the judiciary, but we see a lack of political will by the president,” an EFCC official said.


Another official said the anti-graft officers would now merely work to earn their salaries without passion. “People will be taunting us now that a president can pardon a big thief whom we seriously try to prosecute,” the official said.


The official lamented that the prosecutions of the two former governors took up to 10 years and their eventual convictions were a high point of their work. “Staff are angrier because the two former governors were tried for over a decade and got convicted.


They are saying that the corrupt public servants even made appeals but their conviction was affirmed by Nigeria’s apex court,” he said. The official noted that some members of staff were already querying their moral ground to go pursue other cases of corruption. Coroborating the earlier position, another official said he doubted President Buhari reviewed the implication of his actions on operatives of the anti-graft agencies.


“People risked their lives and friendships to investigate the ex-governors. They refused to be compromised. Now it appears all the efforts were in vain,” the anti-corruption investigator said




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