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EFCC claims 1500 convictions in one year contrary to available data



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With no fact or figure to show for it, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday said it secured about 1, 500 convictions in 2016.
The available record on the commission’s website, however, shows the total number of conviction between 2013 and 2016, the only data available since the commission came on board in 2003, stands at 470.
But the head, public relations of the EFCC, South-South, disclosed at a town hall meeting in Benin City, Edo State, disclosed the new figure while delivering a lecture entitled Fostering Citizen’s Support for the War against Corruption in Nigeria, organized by CLEEN Foundatiion.
The National Daily examined the commission’s claim last week, and observed most of the convictions are small time financial criminals, though more than 40 high-calibre corruption cases involving 16 governors and 24 others have been dragging on for 10 years.
Confirming that EFCC has been up and doing with its mandate to prosecute all corrupt citizens in spite of party affiliation, Oladele Oyewole said the commission could only be more effective in its fight to curb corruption when more Nigerians join hands by volunteering information that can lead to arrest, investigation and prosecution of alleged corrupt individuals.
He also distinguished between petty and grand corruption, and charged citizens to denounce and not celebrate convicts and people standing trials for corruption.
In his lecture titled Evaluating Anti-corruption Efforts in Edo State and Nigeria: A Perspective from the Judiciary, chairman of the Benin Branch of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ede Asenoguan, declared that corruption was still high in the country despite efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari administration to reduce it.
“It is pertinent to note that despite the existence of these several laws aimed at curbing corruption, I think corruption is still waxing very strong in this country as well as in Edo State,” he said.
Also speaking, BudgIT Project Manager Abayomi Akinbo remarked that the trust and confidence of all Nigerians in President Muhammadu Buhari and his administration could only be rousing if monies recovered from looters are disclosed, such looters named and when they were recovered made known to the public.
In his own contribution, an assistant superintendent at the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), Samuel Odebajo, explained it is now more important to prevent rather than prosecute corruption.
Many believe the anti-graft agency has been a shadow o itself since its pioneer chairman Nuhu Ribadu was unceremoniously kicked out of office in 2010  following a gang-up by governors the commission was about to prosecute then.

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