The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says conviction figures from economic and financial crime prosecutions in 2023 are rising across various commands of the commission.
Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa, Executive Chairman of the commission, made the disclosure on Thursday in Benin during a one-day training on effective reporting of economic and financial crimes for journalists in Edo.
Bawa described the feat as significant, not only for the commission but also for the entire nation, as conviction figures were proof of the effectiveness of the war against graft.
Represented by the Benin Zonal Commander, Mr Kanu Idagu the chairman said that the event was one of the modest efforts of the commission to build synergy and strengthen media understanding and appreciation of the work of the commission.
Bawa said that the Benin session was a continuation of a series that began a few years ago and four of such were held in some zonal commands and the headquarters in 2022.
The chairman noted, however, that the scope had 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,” he stated.
The EFCC boss recalled that the commission secured 3785 convictions in 2022, a 70.5 per cent improvement over its record for 2021, which was 2220.
The anti-graft agency, he claimed, recorded 98.93 per cent success rate in prosecution for the year, given that the commission lost only 41 cases, representing 1.07 per cent within the period.
Bawa urged journalists, as important allies in the anti-graft war, to be more involved and up their ante in the area of investigative reporting.
The chairman also urged journalists to offer the leads into uncharted areas where economic and financial crimes might be taking place.
The chairman told the trainees that the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act 2022 had become a new mechanism for the fight against money laundering practices in the country.
This, and the Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Act 2022, he said, were fresh legal armaments against illicit financial flows.
According to him, Nigerians need to be more informed about these important legislation; hence the workshop to crave the indulgence of pen pushers to step up active reporting of these laws.(NAN)