Sonala Olumhense expected to apologize to EFCC
TThe attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was drawn to an article by Sonala Olumhense entitled “Fear of Responsibility” which was published in The Punch and Daily trust newspapers for Sunday, October 3, 2021.
The respected columnist in the cranky article put the EFCC’s Abdulrasheed Bawa leadership to the sword over blatantly false allegations that the agency failed to submit its annual report to the National Assembly before September 30, 2021, as required by law.
This supposed failure, according to Olumhense, is proof that the EFCC was afraid of responsibility and therefore lacks the moral basis to demand the same from citizens.
Abandoned by its fallacies, Olumhense’s assertion about the EFCC’s failure to submit its annual report to the National Assembly by September 30 is false. The Commission duly fulfilled its obligation to the National Assembly in this regard since the annual report was sent to the National Assembly on September 30, 2021, as the Commission has always done since 2003.
It is curious that a journalist with the Olumhense experience did not attempt to verify his fact before publishing. In the present case, he neither sought to know from the Commission whether it had submitted the annual report nor verified with the National Assembly whether it had received the report. Had he done so, he would have saved himself the embarrassment of an article as irreparably flawed as it was damaging, especially for Olumhense’s reputation and those of the newspapers that did not bother to verify his biased article. on the EFCC.
Apparently, Olumhense seems so obsessed with building a bogus case against Bawa and the EFCC that he mistook the lack of ceremony in fulfilling this statutory requirement as evidence of non-compliance.
Article 37 of the 2004 EFCC Establishment Act states that “the Commission shall, no later than September 30 of each year, submit to the National Assembly a report of its activities during the previous year and must include in this report the audited accounts of the Commission. The law does not impose a ceremony within the framework of the obligation of submission. Nowhere in this law is it stated that the EFCC cannot submit its annual report until all the images broadcast by local and international media of the submission ceremony have been sent to Olumhense where it waiting somewhere in the United States.
But unfortunately, nothing, not even sacred facts, can hold Mr. Olumhense as he extended his hand to the EFCC jugular: several times, helped and encouraged by an accomplice National Assembly, ”he said. writing. And then the respected columnist makes another bizarre claim that the EFCC Act is not on the Commission’s website because, in its interpretation, the EFCC does not want people to be aware of its obligation to September 30 statement.
To be charitable to him, these are completely false statements. The truth is that since the creation of the Commission in 2003, it has never failed, not once, to submit its annual report to the National Assembly, no later than September 30 of each year. Even in the year it started operating after its inauguration in April 2003, the EFCC still submitted an annual report to the National Assembly by September 30, 2003.
As for the claim that the Commission Establishment Law was missing from its website, a visit to the EFCC website, www.efccnigeria.org, will expose Olumhense’s wrongdoing, as the law had been a resource item on the platform for several years.
It has become an annual ritual for Olumhense to castigate the Commission for the false allegation of non-submission of its annual report, using hopelessly false and yellowing arguments.
It appears the respected columnist left September 30 blank in his diary as a date to denigrate the EFCC, regardless of evidence to the contrary.
And despite the commission’s best efforts to educate him, he stubbornly refused to be saved from the lie trap he had set for himself. He is obsessed and seems hopelessly lost in promoting the lie about the Commission.
An ignorant columnist, especially one with a famous name, is a danger to society. All the gibberish about the EFCC annual report has left Olumhense column readers across the world uninformed. If this mishap is like his weekly interventions on national affairs, we can safely conclude that the columnist poses a serious threat to our collective intellectual health.
He owes Mr. Bawa, the EFCC and the millions of Nigerians he deceived with this trash-worthy article on the EFCC, a wholehearted apology.
For the avoidance of doubt Mr. Olumhense,
· The EFCC submitted its 2021 annual report, on time, to both chambers of the Nigerian National Assembly;
· EFCC has never been at fault in submitting annual reports to the National Assembly; and
· The EFCC law is on the website of the Commission.
These are verifiable facts, and the facts, they say, are sacred.
Olumhense and the newspapers that have loaned him their platforms to expose the lie against the EFCC are hereby challenged to verify these facts and then have the courtesy and professional integrity to apologize.
Wilson Uwujaren, Head, Media and Advertising, EFCC