We secured 142 convictions in six months, says EFCC
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has said it secured 142 convictions between January and July 2018.
The acting chairman of the ant-graft agency, Ibrahim Magu made this disclosure in a speech titled “Africa unite to defeat corruption”, which was delivered on his behalf by Zonal head, Lagos office of the EFCC, Akaninyene Ezima during the African anti-corruption day rally in Lagos last Wednesday.
He declared that the depth and gravity of corruption in Nigeria could be seen in the fact that between January and July 2018 alone, the agency has secured 142 convictions.
According to him, it is an indication that the EFCC is determined to win the corruption war, no matter how long it takes. “The Commission has also traced and recovered illicit funds, as well as properties worth billions of dollars. This level of corruption is shocking, destructive and totally unacceptable,” he said.
The EFCC marked the day with a road walk against corruption to draw attention to the need to jointly fight the vice.
Magu declared that an African Union report indicates that Africa loses about US$50 billion annually through illicit financial flows out of the continent.
He said Nigeria is celebrating anti-corruption day because it has one of the most extensive and deeply entrenched culture of corruption on the African continent, if not in the whole world.
His words: “This is manifested in the increasingly large number of corruption related investigation, litigations, convictions and recoveries made by the EFCC since 2003.”
He therefore charged the judiciary to support the fight against graft as the key stakeholders in the campaign.
Founder, Women Arise, Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin also called for a collective fight against graft. “We all must join hands to fight this vice because a journey of 1000 miles starts with a step.
“Let us join hands more than ever; let us rededicate our lives to the struggle against corruption so that our value system that has been eroded would be brought back. I am so optimistic that when we all join hands, we will be able to break the chain of corruption,” she stated.
Head of intergovernmental action group against money laundering in West Africa, Timothy Melaye, said its research identified corruption as the most prevalent offence that enhances money laundering in West Africa.
“Over US$500 billion is being taken away from this region every year and this must stop if we must develop. The bane of progress in this part of the world is corruption. We must kill corruption, not only in high places, but in every strata of our society such as schools, offices, government and private sectors,” he declared.
Ezima on his part stated that from January 2018 till date, Lagos zone has recorded 52 convictions and has recovered funds running to several billions of naira.
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