The Chairman of Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa, has described the anti-corruption drive of President Muhammadu Buhari in his eight years of administration as excellent.
Bawa said this on Thursday in an interview with reporters at the passing out ceremony of the Inspector Cadet Course Six 2022 of the EFCC at Police Mobile Force Training College (PMFTC), Ende Hills, Akwanga, Nasarawa State.
The 115 cadets comprised 96 males and 19 females completed their nine months rigorous training at the PMFTC.
He said that the fight against corruption was not an easy task, stressing that Buhari’s administration’s fight against corruption surpassed other previous administrations.
“The assessment of the president’s anti-corruption drive is of course on top and it has been excellent.
“Yesterday I was with him, where we presented to him the graph presentation of the rise in the conviction we succeeded in securing under his leadership.
“In 2016, the EFCC only recorded 103 convictions and in 2022 we recorded 3,785, all credits goes to him. This signified a sharp increase from the previous year’s conviction records of the commission.
“Because he was able to provide us not only the political will required to fight corruption but also the political action,” he said
Earlier, while expressing gratitude to Mr Buhari, he said that the president had strengthened the commission in his quest and zeal to rid the country of corruption, whose effect had slowed down the country’s development potential.
“Since my appointment as the Chairman of the EFCC, Mr President has granted us all the necessary support and legislation, including the need to boost the manpower of the commission.
“To reinforce his commitment, the president assented into law three legislations; being the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Bill, 2022; the Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Bill, 2022; and the Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management) Bill, 2022.
“These legal instruments against illicit financial flow and money laundering have aided the conviction achievement of the EFCC,” he said.
Bawa said notwithstanding its enforcement and prosecution mileage, the commission had not relented in its prevention mandate in line with the strategic objective plan of 2021 to 2025
The chairman said that this included increasing the level of public engagement in the fight against economic and financial crime.
According to him, in furtherance of this objective, the commission on every Wednesday engage in real time with the public via a virtual town hall meeting on the EFCC’s twitter handle.
He said that the EFCC lead role in the community of law enforcement, particularly against economic and financial crimes was no mean feat.
According to him, to sustain this role, its officers are guided by the core values of integrity, courage, professionalism, and collaboration
Bawa also commended the quality of training received by the 115 cadets, adding that they had been transformed from ordinary civilians into law enforcement and combat ready personnel.
“Before you today are officers drawn from every state in Nigeria, as well as the FCT. After having fulfilled the selection requirements during the recruitment exercise, they came in without knowing what to expect.
“In the course of the training, these cadets received relevant academic knowledge from the EFCC instructors in areas of vocational studies, legal studies, financial studies, forensic, ICT and general studies,” he said
He noted that it had been a long road getting there, in spite of the various challenges encountered.
“I am happy to say that the cadets have been transformed, and are ready to deliver their quota in the fight against economic and financial crimes.
“I urge you all to be committed to the profession you are signed up for.
“It is crucial for you to know that law enforcement, especially in the field of fighting financial crimes, is a crucial national service, a career that takes years to build, which requires only minutes to destroy,” he said.