BY ANKELI EMMANUEL, Sokoto
The Executive Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Abdulrasheed Bawa has said that the task of exposing corrupt public officials is not as demanding as many think, stressing that all that is required is commitment and attention to details.
Bawa, who spoke at a 1-day Financial Crime Reporting workshop organized for journalists in Sokoto State, added that, fighting economic and financial crimes requires an informed media that will help inform and mobilise the public towards curbing the menace.
Represented by the Sokoto Zonal Commander of EFCC, AC Aliyu Yunusa, the Commission’s boss, Abdulrasheed Bawa said:
“Without doubt, economic and financial crimes remain a mortal threat to our individual and corporate progress. It is not only by being a victim of these crimes that we suffer losses. We also suffer limitations when our neighbours, family members, colleagues, institutions and nation fall prey to them.
“Every hole in the armour of integrity diminishes us a bit, because we are involved in humanity. This means we should not wait until we suffer any loss before we move against corrupt practices,” Bawa advised.
Delivering a paper on, “New Money Laundering Framework: Duties and Responsibilities of Individuals and Corporate Organizations,” Chris Mshellia of EFCC’s Legal and Prosecution Department, admonished Nigerians to give valid information about suspicious corrupt practices.
Responding to a question on whether the immunity clause negatively affects the commission, ACE 11 Chris Mshellia said the immunity clause only prevents litigation against some public office holders while in office but permits investigation into their acts pending when they leave such offices.
Delivering the second paper on, “Investigative Journalism and Nigeria’s Fight Against Money Laundering”, ACE 1 Dele Oyewale told media practitioners that, killing corruption stories for whatever reason is like committing professional murder.
Oyewale who is Assistant Director, Media and Publicity in the commission reeled out tips on how to investigate money laundering, with an appeal to media practitioners to make in-depth investigation of corruption related piece of information, adding that doing so, will help in checkmating financial crimes.
“As journalists, we must understand that the informal sector oils financial crimes hence we must strive to know all the designated non-financial institutions and report how they aid and abate money laundering,” Oyewale implored.
In the last paper, “Digital Payment System: Emerging Opportunities for Fraud and Preventive Tips for Victims”, Cajetan Egerue said fraudsters kept changing their nefarious tactics, hence the need for us to always be ahead of them in informing people on how to avoid falling prey.
While admonishing Nigerians to employ best practices in fighting digital fraud, Egerue listed known types of fraud in digital payment to include, account hacking, identity fraud, clonning, internet gambling, Automated Clearing House (ACH), Cheque and Lottery Fraud as well as Advanced Fee Fraud.
Speaking in his vote of thanks, EFCC’s spokesperson, Mr. Wilson Uwajeren appealed to journalists to consider societal merits and interests beyond perceived threats in their noble profession.