EFCC Boss Expresses Worry Over Loss Of Corruption Cases

Executive chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa,  has expressed concerns about corruption cases being lost to technicalities at various levels of court in the country, stressing that such a development may serve as a disincentive to the fight against economic and financial crimes.

The EFCC boss, who stated this in Abuja while giving his opening remark at a three- day capacity building workshop, themed; “Judicial Dynamism: A Key Factor in the Fight Against Economic and Financial Crimes”, organised for judicial officers, corruption investigators and prosecutors, also noted that corruption cases being lost on technical grounds have a way of building confidence in corrupt elements and negatively affect the cherished image of the judiciary.

He said, “As a commission, we do not expect every judicial decision to go our way, but there are instances the EFCC and many Nigerians have been left at a loss about certain judicial decisions, where defendants who obviously have stolen our commonwealth and those who have aided and abetted them have been allowed to go home to enjoy their proceeds of crime on technical grounds. This has the tendency of affecting negatively the cherished image of and confidence in the Nigerian judiciary both locally and internationally.

“In the commission, we hold the view that corruption is a plague that does not select its victims. Those stealing and abusing our common patrimony do not wish us well. Judges are as much victims of corruption as the ordinary man on the streets. It is therefore in our collective interest that the gains of the fight against corruption are not reversed. This is also why we must aggregate fresh opinions and forge deliberate winning tactics and strategies to stem its ugly tide”.

While reviewing the impact of the EFCC in the fight against economic and financial crimes, in its 19 years of existence, the EFCC chairman said that the commission had carved a niche for itself with numerous milestones to its name.

“However, in the little over a year that I have had the privilege to supervise, the commission secured an unprecedented record of 2220 convictions. It is the highest ever in the history of the commission and as I address you this morning, we have already secured 1222 convictions, thus far, this year”, he said.

While commending the judiciary for its role in making the convictions record possible, the EFCC chairman advocated for an enhanced welfare package for judges and justices.

Bawa also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for signing into law the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act 2022, the Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Act 2022 and the Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management, Act, 2022,  expressing optimism  that  the new laws would serve as significant legal instruments that would further strengthen and deepen the anti-corruption war.


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