A coalition of Civil Society Organizations, CSOs, has described the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, as a nightmare of corrupt politicians, public servants and internet fraudsters in the country.
Speaking at a World Press Conference on Corruption and National Issues in Lagos on Monday, March 13, 2023, Rasak Olokooba, President, Campaign for Dignity in Governance, CDG, said: “Corrupt politicians and public officers across party divides, fraudsters across geopolitical zones and gods of men across religions and faiths now know that the fear of the EFCC is the beginning of wisdom.”
Olokooba also commended the EFCC for performing beyond expectations, especially in the areas of prosecution of cases, adding that it had restored the confidence of Nigerians who now see the possibility of building a greater nation.
Olokooba, who took a historical look at the activities of the Commission, praised the EFCC for the increase in convictions and recovery of assets recorded across all zones of the country, particularly since the appointment of AbdulRasheed Bawa as the Executive Chairman in February 2021.
According to him, “There was increase in convictions and recoveries across all zones of the country. For example, between 2016 and 2019, the number of convictions secured rose from 195 to 1,280; and by 2021, the figure had hit unprecedented 2220, a value amounting to 98.47% of all cases brought before the court of law.
“In the same year, over N150 billion was recovered, with recovery in other currencies such as $ 386 million, £1.182 million) and €156,000.
“The record for the year 2022 is even more startling for the forces of corruption and encouraging for the anti-corruption forces, as total number of convictions in the year was 3785, a 70% increase over the 2220 recorded in 2021.
“The monetary recovery was also higher in the year 2022, with over N260 billion; USD 509 billion; 2.196 million Euros; 876.138 British pounds and millions of other foreign currencies recovered.
“These values exclude assets such as automobiles, electronics, machines, factories, hotels, petroleum products and minerals such as lithium, which were recovered in the same period and worth billions of naira. “
The Civil Society Coalition urged the incoming administration to leverage the sterling performance of the EFCC under the leadership of Abdulrasheed Bawa to consolidate the fight against corruption in Nigeria.
According to Olookoba, the “incoming president should be interested in furtherance of the good work of the out-going President, especially in areas where evidence abound of such good work.
“For us in the Civil Society, and beyond, the details of the great work the EFCC team has been doing, is the fact that incorruptible and fearless individuals like Abdulrasheed Bawa deserve a place in the fight against corruption in Nigeria.
“He represents to us, an exemplar in the fight against corruption in the present and in the future”.