The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has accused Transparency International (TI) of being biased and having a hidden agenda against Nigeria following its recent report which ranked Nigeria low on the corruption index.
Condemning the report, the anti-graft agency also described it as appalling.
In its 2019 corruption perception index published on Thursday, TI ranked Nigeria 146 out of 180 countries studied.
The current ranking showed a two points drop from 148 where the country was positioned in 2018.
However, a statement issued by the EFCC spokesman, Tony Orilade, described the report as baseless, adding that TI has been consistent in its “biased rating of Nigeria.”
He said: “We insist that the rating is a far cry from the evident strides and achievements so far accomplished by the anti-graft agency in the fight against corruption, particularly under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The claim is evidently not supported by any empirical data, especially when placed side-by-side with the remarkable achievements of the Commission in the past years.
“Moreover, it is quite ironic that the report by TI posits that the index does not show real incidences of corruption, yet it claims that the report is a reliable indication of the perception of the Nigerian public and the international community about the state of corruption in the country.”
Orilade noted that the year 2019 2019 was particularly a “remarkable one” for the commission as it secured an “unprecedented record of 1,268 convictions, including that of a former state governor and a serving senator who was convicted for defrauding his state to the tune of N7.65 billion.
“Over the past years, billions of naira, millions of dollars and other foreign currencies were recovered from corrupt persons in the country, including securing the forfeiture of assets of their illegal and fraudulent activities.”