CORRUPTION STILL EATING NIGERIA DEEPER, EFCC BOSS MAGU ADMITS

The acting chairman of the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, Tuesday, admitted that despite the dogged war President Muhammadu Buhari has been wagging against corruption in the last four years, the canker worm  is still festering on the system .

CORRUPTION STILL EATING NIGERIA DEEPER, EFCC BOSS MAGU ADMITS

PUBLISHED: STVN 23 OCTOBER, 2019

The acting chairman of the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, Tuesday, admitted that despite the dogged war President Muhammadu Buhari has been wagging against corruption in the last four years, the canker worm  is still festering on the system .

Magu, who the Senate refused to confirm as substantive Chairman of the commission stated this in Abuja at the opening ceremony of the 2019 Seminar on Economic and Financial Crimes for Judicial Officers held in the National Judicial Institute (NJI) .

He bemoaned the raging corruption in the country despite the huge achievements made by the commission under his watch.

According to him, from 2017 till date for instance, the convictions profile of the Commission has improved dramatically.

‘’While the Commission secured 190 convictions in 2017, the record for 2018 was 312. From January to October 2019, over 882 convictions have been recorded. This is unprecedented.

‘’The positive trajectory of convictions recorded,  is replicated in assets recovery. From 2015 to date several hundreds of billions of naira have been recovered by the Commission.

‘’Furthermore, within the same period several properties, including automobiles, motorcycles, lands, farmlands, housing estate; company shares, ocean-going vessels, petroleum products, plazas, hotels, fuel stations, bank accounts and  jewelry were forfeited to the Federal Government by order of court.

‘’While we celebrate these milestones, we must remind ourselves that there is still so much to be done.  Corruption is still rampant and, overall, the institutional responses to it are in some instances, weak’’,he lamented.

Giving credence to assertions by Magu, Chairman of the National Judicial Council (NJC)’s Corruption and Financial Crime Cases Trial Monitoring Committee (COTRIMCO), Rtd Justice Suleiman Galadima, said the fight against corruption and financial crimes have been dogged.

‘’Going by the summary obtained from courts handling corruption and financial crimes cases from all states, as at September 2019, the Supreme Court has delivered a total of 52 judgements, 88 from all Divisions of the Court of Appeal, 12 by all the divisions of the Federal High Court, 5 from the FCT High Courts, 188 from the state High Courts and 838 judgements have been delivered as per the lates update report from EFCC.

‘’EFCC has announced this morning that N939.51 billion was recovered in four years, about 1,636 convictions were secured within the same year, while N1.28 trillion cash was recovered between 2009 and 2019’’, Justice Galadima said.

Galadima, a retired justice of the Supreme Court said in line with the mandate of his committee, which was divided into three sub-committee have since embarked on scheduled visits to various part of the country to interact with the judges and also to perform other oversight functions.

Also in attendance at the Seminar, held in  collaboration with the EFCC are the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, NJI Administrator, Justice R.P.I. Bozimo, Justices of the Court of Appeal and Chief Judges of the Federal High Court and state High Courts.

Meanwhile, the CJN commended the theme for the three-day workshop, ‘’Contemporary Issues in the Investigation and prosecution of Economic and Financial Crimes – The Way Forward’’, saying it is apt, because corruption has been a perennial bane to sustainable development in Nigeria.

‘’The EFCC, being the body saddled with the responsibility of investigating, preventing, and prosecuting economic and financial crimes in our polity, it rightly deserves the collaboration it has with the judiciary; as the Seminar will further avail us the opportunity of considering the provisions of the laws and regulations relating to same. ‘’Indeed, the EFCC is a worthy collaborator with the Judiciary in the fight against crime and criminality, hence this Seminar’’, Justice Tanko Muhammad said.

The Senate President who declared the workshop opened said those in attendance of the opening ceremony is a classic example of how legislature, executive and judiciary arms of government can work together for the sustainable development of the country.

‘’We in the legislature are highly determined to work with all other arms of government for the good of citizens of this country.

‘’We have to combat waste in the system happening through corruption for example. The Administration of President Buhari is predicated on tackling three things and corruption is one of them.

‘’What we face today in the area of corruption requires that all hands must be on desk to fight it. And we are determined to work with other arms of government to fight it.

‘’For us to come together to discuss corruption as the EFCC and the NJI are doing, is a valid path to sharing understanding on the difficult task ahead”, he said. (Blueprint)

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