Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
The Makurdi Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has announced the recovery of N84,260,183.97 and the securing of 20 convictions for various corruption-related offences in the last 18 months of operations.
Speaking at a press briefing to commemorate this year’s Democracy Day, the Acting Head of Operation in the Zone, Mallam Mohammed Alkali, disclosed further that the zone received 407 petitions, with 21 cases currently in various courts for trial.
He explained that the Zone, whose operation covers four states – Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau and Taraba – is currently handling trials of corruption cases in various courts.
Alkali called on all hands to be on deck to fight corruption in the country.
‘Corruption is a fight that requires the support of all to defeat. The EFCC believes that if the fight against corruption must be won, it is imperative for all hands to be on deck to kick out the cankerworm which has eaten deep into our fabrics,’ he said.
‘This is what informed the decision of the EFCC to vigorously focus on preventive measures through its various enlightenment and sensitisation programmes in line with the dictates of the EFCC Act (2004) with a view to get a buy-in from the people especially the common masses who oftentimes are the victims.
‘There is no gainsaying that corruption is the bane of our development in this country. Corruption is not peculiar to fraud only. It also entails vices such as sabotage of the system, violation of due process for personal gain, nepotism, giving jobs to unqualified people, buying certificates for employment and bribery.’
The Acting Zonal Head noted with concern the rise in Ponzi schemes and cybercrime in Nigeria.
He expressed worry over the attitude of some parents who not only feign ignorance of their children’s involvement in the crime but even go to any length to abet it.
Alkali, who specifically stated that most students of tertiary institutions including graduates, NYSC members and even some secondary school students, get involved in cybercrime, urged parents and guardians to monitor their children in addition to providing them with sound education and moral discipline.
He said the Commission will leave no stone unturned in bringing any corrupt element to justice.
‘At this juncture, I would like to use this opportunity to caution Nigerians on the danger of disclosing their personal information to anyone who calls or requests for such via text message as this is one of the major ways through which ATM or bank-related frauds are perpetuated.’
Alkali restated the resolve of the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, to rid the country of every form of corruption and called on all Nigerians to join in the national effort.