Nigerian agency vows to pursue graft cases

September 17, 2010 12:00 am

, LAGOS, Sep 17 – The head of Nigerian anti-graft agency EFCC vowed Thursday to pursue ongoing graft investigation and cases against politicians despite threat of attacks and violence against its officials.

An official of the commission was killed on Tuesday in the northern city of Kaduna in an apparent targeted murder.

"Because I made a comment that people who care for Nigerians should be elected, not those who have corruption cases pending in court, I have been vilified, attacked with all manner of allegation," EFCC boss Farida Warizi was quoted as saying in a statement.

She said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission was empowered by law to work with the relevant government agencies to ensure that only credible people were allowed to stand in next year\’s general elections.

Nigeria has set presidential, legislative and state elections between January 15 and January 29.

"I am not going to sit here and say this is the list of disqualified persons or politicians but we are going to work together with the INEC (electoral body), the SSS (state security serice), police and even the political parties," she said.

"We will tell the party leaders and advise them that, based on the overwhelming evidence on the candidate you are presenting, why don’t you field another candidate?" she said.

Two weeks ago, some politicians from northern Nigeria accused President Goodluck Jonathan of ordering corruption investigations against those opposed to his candidacy in upcoming elections.

The country\’s anti-graft agency strongly disputed the accusation, which came amid divisions in Jonathan\’s ruling Peoples Democratic Party over whether he should represent it in elections expected in January.

Jonathan used his Facebook page to announce his candidacy on Wednesday, but the party has yet to endorse him, setting its national convention for next month to nominate its flagbearer.

Other candidates, including former military ruler Ibrahim Babaginda and former vice president Atiku Abubakar have declared their intentiona to contest the party\’s presidential ticket.



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