Published On: Wed, Feb 6th, 2019

EFCC uncovers new looting tactics by politicians, banks

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By Ese Awhotu
Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Committee, Mr. Ibrahim Magu,
yesterday said the commission has discovered new tactics being used by
corrupt politicians and bank officials to loot public treasury.
Magu, said that the new tactics were being used by looters of the
nation’s commonwealth to escape the long arm of the law.
He made the disclosure in a solidarity message at the 12 National
Delegates’ Conference of the Nigeria Labour Congress on Tuesday in
Abuja.
The EFCC was represented by Dr Aminu Gusau, a Director in the commission.
Magu said the EFCC made the discovery  through various investigations,
which  had unearthed the collusion of bank officials and those of
non-designated financial institutions, with corrupt politicians in the
country.
He added that, this  had brought about an increase in the instances of
illicit financial flows into and out of the country.
Magu said that he was in Ghana as part of the commission’s concerted
effort at beaming high-tension searchlight beyond the borders of
Nigeria.
‘‘What we discovered is no doubt staggering and mind-boggling,’’ he said.
He said that corrupt politicians had widened the circles of their
corrupt activities by investing their loots in other African
countries, this was in order to sell them and deploy ways of
repatriating them to Nigeria, even in the buildup to the election.
‘‘but, by and by, we are also stepping up our game to combat and nip
in the bud, new tactics being deployed to fraudulently divert and
misappropriate funds meant for the welfare and good of all Nigerians.
‘‘We have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Economic and
Organised Crime Office, in Ghana, the Ghana Financial Intelligence
Centre and the Ghana police service to ensure that we keep track of
such illicit inflow and outflow of suspicious funds.
‘‘Our MoU with the United Arab Emirates is also very much in effect as
we have been able to trace several assets illegally kept there.
‘‘This is in addition to several other strategies that we have
deployed in carrying out our mandate of ridding Nigeria of corruption.
We remain unrelenting, undaunted and unbowed.
‘‘We have also engaged with operators of financial institutions, as
well as non-financial institutions and we charge them to see
themselves as partners in the fight for the common good of all
Nigerians,’’ he said.
The chairman said that the commission was monitoring the movements of
cash in the system, and awake to its responsibility of ensuring that
the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2010 are strictly adhered to.
‘‘This was especially as it relates to election funding, and the now
worrisome incidents of vote buying,’’ he said.
‘‘ Invariably, one major purpose why I am here is to further goad the
NLC to cooperate with the EFCC in the fight against corruption.
‘‘The task of fighting corruption is a collective responsibility that
has been given to each and every one of us,” he added.
The EFCC boss lamented that the more the commission moved to address
corruption, the more those involved devised new strategies.
‘‘We have realised that the more we spread our tentacles to catch and
bring to book those who have corruptly enriched themselves from the
commonwealth, the more we are discovering that the corrupt-minded
folks are evolving new techniques.’’
According to Magu,  the commission had put in place several strategies
that would be deployed in carrying out its mandate to rid Nigeria of
corruption.
He noted that the NLC has been a longstanding partner of the EFCC.
‘‘You have partnered with us at various events like anti-corruption
walks, among other interactive fora, strategically designed by the
EFCC to strengthen partnership with critical stakeholders to fight
against corruption.
‘‘These collaborations with labour and other civil society groups are
hinged on the realisation that the EFCC cannot single-handedly
confront the monster that corruption has become in our society.
‘‘It is a fact of life, that a single finger cannot lift the load off
the ground; such effort requires the use of all the fingers of the two
hands to achieve such an action.
‘‘However, with your support and the goodwill of all Nigerians, our
painstaking and broad-based approach will definitely yield results.’’
The theme of the two-day National Delegates’ Conference is: ‘‘Towards
a Decade of Activism for the Promotion of Labour Unity, National
Rebirth and Development.’’
The EFCC boss, while speaking on the theme of the conference, said the
dream of ensuring a national rebirth and development of the Nigerian
economy and the country’s image in the international community was not
a day’s affair.
‘‘We have a collective responsibility in uniting against corruption;
with unity of purpose, we shall attain in our lifetime, the future
that we desire for the generation yet unborn.’’

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