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EFCC seeks Journalists’ support through Investigative Reporting

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), yesterday, tasked Journalists as important allies in the anti-graft war to be more involved by upping their ante in the area of investigative reporting, and offering the Commission leads into uncharted areas where economic and financial crimes may be taking place.

The Executive Chairman of the Commission, Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa, gave the charge at Workshop on Economic and Financial Crimes Reporting for Journalists at the
Benin Zonal Command.

Represented by Mr. Kanu Idagu, an Assistant Commander in charge of the Benin Zone, the EFCC Chairman drew attention the new mechanism for the fight against money laundering practices in our nation- The Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022, Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management) Act, 2022 and the Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022 which he said were fresh legal armaments against illicit financial flows and money laundering.

“Nigerians need to be more informed about these important legislations and I wish to crave your indulgence to step up active reporting of these laws.

The Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering, SCUML is now fully domesticated in the EFCC, making the fight against money laundering unsparing and broad-based. I charge the media to give more attention to the activities of all Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions, DNFBPs. This is one sector that is under-reported. If we devote more coverage to this sector, in the same way Financial Institutions are reported, operators in the sector, and indeed the general public, will be better informed about their obligations to regulatory authorities and by so doing, refrain from any infraction or compromise of extant laws”.

Besides, he urged the media to help in mobilizing all Nigerians to embrace the fight against corruption.

The EFCC boss explained that the Workshop was one of the modest efforts of the Commission to build synergy and strengthen media understanding and appreciation of the work of the Commission.

“This event is a continuation of a series that began a few years ago. Last year, four such workshops were held in some Zonal Commands and the Headquarters but the scope has been expanded to accommodate more Journalists in the Zonal Commands of the Commission.

“Over the years, the media has been one of the Commission’s most critical stakeholders in the fight against corruption. Let me use this opportunity to commend the professional and patriotic efforts of the Fourth Estate of the Realm in beaming searchlights not only on the works of the EFCC but on all shades of economic and financial crimes. The robust reporting of the activities of the Commission has been quite helpful.

“Let me also use this opportunity to state that the EFCC remains committed to its mandate of tackling all forms of economic and financial crimes across the country. You will recall that the Commission secured 3785 convictions in 2022, a 70.5% improvement over its record for 2021(2220) and 98.93% success rate in prosecution, given that the Commission lost only 41 cases, representing 1.07% within the period.
Conviction figures are already rising in 2023 across the various commands of the Commission. This is significant, not only for the Commission but also for the entire nation, as conviction figures are proofs of the effectiveness of the war against graft.

“At the risk of sounding immodest, the last two years have seen great works of focused and institutionalized engagements against corrupt practices in the nation. Policies, processes and procedures are already in place to remove discretion from the works of the Commission.

In his lecture titled “New Money Laundering Framework: Duties and Responsibilities of Individuals and Corporate Organisations, Mr Christopher Mshelia, a Lawyer, said Lawyers and Judges have not fully understood the Money Laundering Act due to its relative newness the country’s judicial system adding that this has posed a challenge to the EFCC.

Also speaking, Mr. Dele Oyewale, an Assistant Director of the EFCC, challenged Journalists to engage in Investigative Reporting, pointing out that investigative reporting of money laundering in the country was very poor.

“No strong lead has ever come from the media for the EFCC to work upon. Money Laundering is not limited to political office holders”, said and called for a review reporting so the public can relate to what the EFCC is doing.

On her part, Oluwakemi Olawoyin, Head Cyber Crime of the Benin Zone of the EFCC, urged mobile phone users not to click on any link they are not sure of to avoid their identity theft and defrauding.

In her presentation titled “Emerging Opportunities for Digital Payment System, Fraud Prevention and Tips for Victims”, she further cautioned on online investments offering mouth watering returns, describing them as scam.


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