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.