EFCC records 2,220 convictions in 2021 — Chairman, Bawa

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By Matthew Denis, Abuja

The Executive Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa has disclosed that the commission has recorded a total of 2220 convictions in the 2021 year.

The Chairman made the disclosure during a workshop on ‘Effective Reporting of Economic and Financial Crimes’ held in Abuja on Wednesday.

He said “I cannot end this remarks without updating you on some of our recent activities. Some of you will recall that at the end of 2021, the Commission announced that it recorded a total of 2220 convictions.

“I am pleased to inform you that we are poised to improve on that figure as the record of convictions as of August 5, 2022 was 2210.

“However, one achievement which most of you may not easily recognise is the impact which EFCC’s intervention in the Forex market has had on the value of the Naira. From well over N710 to the Dollar, following the Commission’s intervention, the Naira has appreciated significantly against the Dollar in the Parallel market, and we are not relenting in our efforts to check harmful speculative activities in the sector.”

According to him, the decision of the Commission to sponsor this workshop underscores the importance which it attaches to the role of the media in the fight against economic and financial crimes, including corruption.

He stressed that without doubt the media’s ability to inform and sensitize the people on the ills of corruption and economic crime is crucial for us. So far, the media has been helpful. If nothing else, the Commission enjoys a visibility that makes it the reference point for effectiveness in law enforcement in Nigeria.

The Chairman stated that this event is therefore one of the interventions by the Commission to improve the capacity of the media to deliver on its constitutional mandate as the Fourth Estate of the Realm.

“As a worthy, dependable and reliable ally, I want to use this opportunity to further urge media practitioners to put the interest of our Country at heart, particularly as it relates to a conscientious effort not to celebrate the corrupt in our midst, but to expose them on the pages of your newspapers, screens of television or our various online platforms.

“The war against corruption is a worthy fight for the soul of Nigeria, and for the future generation, it should not be left to the EFCC alone.Nevertheless, there are issues in the media profiling of the Commission that are less than desirable. The notion, for instance, that the Commission is draconian in its approach to fighting cybercrime is perhaps borne out of poor understanding of its modus operandi. But I am convinced that at the end of this workshop we will all be better educated on the processes and procedures of the EFCC.”

Bawa emphasised that as watchdog of society, you must be mindful that your reportage is a mirror that shapes global perception of our institutions and nation. It logically follows that this sacred duty is one that must be discharged with a lot of responsibility and, of course, patriotism.

“I urge you to also beam your searchlights on this area as it is in our collective interest to have a national currency whose value is not subject to the whims of crooked speculators.

Gentlemen of the press, with the carefully selected resource persons, I have no doubt most of us will leave this engagement better equipped to perform our duties as journalists.

“While wishing you happy deliberation, let me use this opportunity to appeal to the media to be cautious in the coverage of economic crimes and ensure you verify your facts before publication.

“Once again, I thank you for attending this workshop.”