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EFCC secures 340 convictions in 6 months

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday  said it had secured 340 convictions and recovered billions of dollars  in  stolen funds within  the last six months.

EFCC Acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, represented by the commission’s  Secretary, Mr Emmanuel Adegboyega, said this in Abuja at the launch of   law enforcement and public engagement project   in Nigeria.

The CLEEN Foundation in collaboration with the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Office of the U.S.Embassy in Nigeria initiated  the project.

Adegboyega,  who dismissed  the claim  that the EFCC  recorded only few convictions,  said  the commission  recorded more convictions than any  anti-graft agency  in the country.

The secretary also said that the success  recorded by the commission was  hinged on the  outcomes from the courts, adding that  the responsibility of the commission was to investigate and charge suspects to court.

“We do not have the control over the courts, we cannot tele-guide the courts; what happened  in the courts  is beyond the control of EFCC,” he said.

While noting that the rate of corruption was on the rise,  he said the commission was committed to the task of tackling the menace.

Adegboyega, who  said that the EFCC had a robust platform in conjunction with Interpol to track down corrupt persons, gave an assurance  that there would be no  safe haven for unscrupulous persons.

He, however,  called for synergy among anti-graft agencies,  stressing that only this would guarantee success in the anti-corruption campaign.

The Deputy Inspector General of Police, Operations, Joshak Habilla,  said that  law enforcement agencies  must  be accountable to the public.

Habilla also urged the security agencies to  engage in activities that would eradicate   corruption in the country.

He urged members of the  public  to hold police officers liable whenever they err.

The representative of the  U.S. Embassy,  Aruna Amirthanayagam,  said that the goal of the project was to strengthen relations between criminal justice actors, anti-graft agencies  and citizens through effective communication.

“This pilot project will focus on supporting the EFCC and the Nigeria Police Force to provide timely and relevant information to the public on their efforts to fight crime and corruption.

“Over the past year, the U.S. Embassy has been working closely with civil society, Nigeria Police and the EFCC on various initiatives to enhance government transparency, improve security  and investigate and prosecute complex financial crimes.

“This project supports those efforts by enhancing communication with the public and building trust with law enforcement organisations,” he said.

The Executive Director of  CLEEN Foundation, Benson Olugbuo,  stressed the need to enhance public confidence in the criminal justice actors such as the police and EFCC.

He advocated for a system that operates zero tolerance for corruption  while  promoting  open communication in  Nigeria’s law enforcement institutions.

Olugbuo said this would help  reduce the potentials to partake in acts of  corruption and Nigeria’s socio-economic development would  be significantly improved.

(Source: NAN)

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