Nigeria News

EFCC Partners UK, US, Australia, Others to Fight Corruption

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday declared that contrary to insinuations in some quarters that the war against graft had been compromised under President Goodluck Jonathan, no fewer than 243 convictions have been recorded in the past two years.
The commission also disclosed that there’s no more safe haven for corrupt Nigerians anywhere in the world as it has entered into joint working agreements with no less than 20 entities scattered across Africa, Europe, Asia and America.

Briefing journalists in Enugu, the commission’s Head, Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, also disclosed that though corruption remained a major challenge facing the nation, the anti-graft commission remained committed to effectively put an end to it.

Uwujaren said the commission had not abandoned ongoing cases against some former governors as been alleged in some quarters, but that the cases were progressing in different courts, noting that the delay tactics of some defence counsels were still a major challenge to most of their pending cases.

He disclosed that some serving governors, ministers and political office holders are currently being investigated, promising to unveil their identities once investigations were concluded.

“Some people feel we are not doing anything because we no longer dramatise our activities. FBI will not tell you that it plans to arrest somebody; that’s not the way it is done. We are really doing a lot under the present administration unlike what we had in the past,” he said.

He said the commission has many cases at various stages of prosecution and would see those matters to logical conclusion.

He disclosed that presently, the commission was expecting judgment in the N25 billion money laundering case instituted against Michael Igbinedion, the younger brother of former governor of Edo State, Lucky Igbinedion and one Eboigbodin on Friday,  January 30.

Also, the Federal High Court, Abuja is expected to rule in the extradition proceeding instituted against, Emma Okoyomon, former Managing Director of the Nigerian Security Minting and Printing Company.

On one of its convictions, Uwujaren said one Vincent Odionu, a 60-year former employee of Lion Stock Brokers is presently serving a 30-months jail term having been found guilty in the diversion of the shares of a deceased client, Onwuka Aneke worth N37.5 million.

On the commission’s global partnership against corruption, Uwujaren said the global confidence in the commission had been restored culminating in cooperation and exchange of intelligence between them and leading law enforcement organisations across the world.

Some of the entities include: Australia Federal Police, the Global Fund, US Federal Trade Commission, the World Bank, African Development Bank, West Australian Police, British Serious Fraud Office, Economic Crimes Network, New Zealand and Association of Anti-Corruption Agencies in Common Wealth Africa.

Also, a joint working agreement between the National Crime Agency, United Kingdom and EFCC in relation to Securency International Limited had been extended to December 2015.

The commission according to him has signed agreement for the Establishment of the Economic Crime Agency Network comprising London Police, Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau of Singapore, European Anti-Fraud Office, Hong Kong’s Independent Commission against Corruption, the US FBI, the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission, New Zealand Serious Fraud Office as well as the National Crime Agency of the UK and the Indonesia Corruption. Eradication Commission.

“What this portends for criminals is that there is no hiding place for those who think they can loot the treasure in Nigeria and hide their loot in other countries,” he said.

The commission further expressed satisfaction over the result of its cooperation with the customs which led to the recovery of N6.53 billion in evaded customs importation duties in Lagos between July 2012 and March 2014.

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