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Senior EFCC official shot in Port Harcourt

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A top anti-corruption investigator probing the judiciary has been shot in southern Nigeria, the country’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said Wednesday.

Austin Okwor, an operative in the property fraud section of the EFCC, was leaving his Port Harcourt office late on Saturday when gunmen shot him, said spokesman Wilson Uwujaren.

Okwor “escaped death by the whiskers” and sustained bullet wounds, said Uwujaren, adding he had received “threat messages” in recent months.

“This incident underlines the hazards which operatives of the commission are daily exposed to in the discharge of their duties,” Uwujaren said in a statement.

Okwor was reportedly working on corruption cases connected to judicial officials.

President Muhammadu Buhari, who was elected in 2015, has vowed to stamp out the graft that plagues oil-rich Nigeria.

But his wide-ranging war on corruption has been criticised given that the EFCC has yet to convict any major names, despite a slew of arrests and prosecutions.

In April, a Nigerian judge was cleared of corruption charges that the presiding judge said were “highly speculative”.

Judge Adeniyi Ademola was one of seven judges arrested on suspicion of corruption in October 2016 in an unprecedented nationwide sting. One was a member of the Supreme Court.

The main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused Buhari of conducting a political witch-hunt given that most of those arrested are from the previous administration.


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