EFCC to train anti-graft agencies for ECOWAS
THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is to upgrade the facilities at its academy in Karu, near Abuja to be able to train anti-graft agencies for member nations of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)..
According to its chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde, doing this will help to fight corruption and related transnational crimes that fuel corruption across the region.
Lamorde gave the assurance in Abuja, when he played host to President, High Authority for the Fight Against Corruption and Similar Crimes (HALCIA), Republic of Niger, Issoufou Boureima who was at the Commission in furtherance of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by both agencies in 2012.
The visit was to strengthen the existing ties between the two agencies in the fight against economic and financial crimes.
The EFCC boss, in response to a request by HALCIA President, said the Commission had planned a regional training programme that would have taken place mid-2014, but was shelved following the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease, in a few countries in the region.
He said:“We assure you that we are already making efforts towards offering such training.
We will accept the request. At the moment, we are planning to upgrade the facilities at the Academy in realisation of this plan. In particular, we are interested in ensuring that there are no language issues. We have an interpreter already and are even in the process of acquiring translation equipment.So, the issue of training by the EFCC for the region is certain.”
Apart from the proposed regional training, Lamorde stated that, the EFCC would not hesitate to provide assistance in any area of need as might be requested of the Commission, “We should share intelligence and information about money laundering and terrorism financing”, Lamorde added. .
Earlier in his remark, Boureima described the efforts of EFCC in the fight against graft as commendable, adding that “we would like to thank you for your support since the signing of the MoU. In fact, all the cases you have intervened in have been successfully concluded and the offenders given different jail terms.”
Meanwhile Justice Donatus Okorowo of the Federal High Court, Jalingo, Taraba State has fixed April 20 to 24, for continuation of hearing in the on-going trial of a former accountant general of Taraba State, Joel Joseph, who is being prosecuted for allegedly stealing N1.5 billion.
He was arraigned on an 8-count charge in July 2014, but pleaded not guilty and was granted bail by court.
At the resumed hearing of the case on March 5, a prosecution witness and chief accountant of the state, Bautn Isa, told the court how his office raised the alarm over irregular increase in the figure for salary payment approved by the accused.
He said as a result of the whistle blowing, a committee was set up to investigate the payroll which eventually confirmed that the former accountant general fraudulently inflated the wage bill of the state
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