Ibrahim Lamorde addressed journalists on Monday.
The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Lamorde, on Monday lamented the negative impact of corruption in key institutions in the society, particularly the media, which he noted has allowed itself to be used to undermine the work of the commission against economic crimes.
Mr. Lamorde, who was speaking in Abuja at a workshop organized by the Commission for media practitioners, said the notion that the Commission was selective in investigating persons suspected of committing economic crimes was erroneous and an unfortunate creation of the media.
The anti-graft boss, who also rejected the media profiling of the Commission as one that only goes after persons who have fallen out of favour with the powers that be, said media practitioners have allowed themselves to be “sucked in stereotypes” they are not willing to let go.
“If nothing else, the Commission enjoys a visibility that makes it the envy of other agencies,” Mr. Lamorde said, describing as “less than desirable” the media profiling of the EFCC.
“The notion, for instance, that the Commission is selective in investigating persons suspected of committing economic crimes; that only those who have fallen out of favour with the powers that be are touched by the Commission; that the Commission has gone to sleep, are unfortunately the creation of the media,” he lamented.
He expressed disappointment that even in the face of contrary evidence, a section of the press have continued to be swayed by these stereotypes, which they are unwilling to shift their gaze.
“This is sad,” he said, pointing out that corruption has been a threat to all sectors (of the society), including the media.
Rather than allow itself to be sucked in by the corrupt in the society and become a pawn in their hands, to undermine the Commission, Mr. Lamorde said his expectation was for the media to lend its investigative skills to helping the EFCC fight corruption.
He challenged the media and their practitioners to ensure that they exercised their constitutional mandate as the fourth estate of the realm with the highest sense of responsibility, urging them to exercise utmost caution in their coverage of economic crime matters by ensuring that they verified their facts carefully before publication.
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