The Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, receiving a delegation of the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL), led by the Executive Director, Police Services, Stephen Kavangh, at the Corporate Headquarters of the Commission on Wednesday, disclosed the readiness and compliance of the Commission with the requirements of the West Africa Police Information System (WAPIS) Programme.
Bawa commended the concept of WAPIS, stressing that information exchange and coordination among West African law enforcement agencies is a veritable mechanism of achieving openness and transparency in the investigation and prosecution of criminal matters.
According to Bawa, “Naming and shaming are important in checking criminal tendencies. Every record and data imputed into WAPIS Platform are good for the whole world. At the EFCC, the 2220 convictions secured in 2021 are already uploaded on the platform, though the data are still Stand-Alone Upload, due to the logistics of connecting the WAPIS server. Between now and June 2023, all data regarding investigation, prosecution and conviction of suspects and convicts since 2004 will be uploaded.”
Bawa said that Nigeria is leading the way in law enforcement, through its agencies, especially the EFCC. Already, “we have submitted the 3785 convictions secured by the Commission in 2022 to the WAPIS Desk Officer in EFCC. This shows our commitment to the program,” he said.
Kavangh had explained the basis for the WAPIS Program and expectations from all law enforcement agencies across the West African sub-region. “Our ambition is to make sure Nigeria is strong. With 16 countries coming together in West Africa sharing intelligence and critical information, law enforcement will be strengthened,” he said. He commended the EFCC for its clear commitment and determination in the pursuit of its mandate.
Kavangh was accompanied on the visit by a large entourage, including Head of INTERPOL, National Centre Bureau (NCB) in Nigeria, Assistant Inspector General of Police, AIG Umar Garba.