Ibrahim Magu, acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has said that the Commission is committed to intensifying its efforts in order to ensure that it secures more convictions in 2019.
“With 312 convictions in 2018, we are strategizing to redouble our effort in 2019, as part of our concerted efforts aimed at ensuring that the negative narrative of pervasive corruption in the system is changed for the better, and the perception that some persons are above the law, remains altered,” he said.
Magu who was speaking to officers while on a working tour to the Lagos office of the Commission, on January 3, 2019, noted that the EFCC has already secured three convictions in 2019, which he described as a good start.
“The Commission shall continue to rid the country of economic and financial crimes and effectively coordinate the domestic efforts of the global fight against money laundering and terrorism financing,” he added.
Magu stressed that the EFCC remains committed to carrying out its duties “in conformity to best international practice within the ambit of the Law”.
While commending the exemplary leadership of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen, for the success recorded in the past year, he stressed that the Judiciary remains key to winning the corruption fight.
He said: “Let us have it at the back of our minds that we are only prosecutors; without the support of the Judiciary, led by the CJN and other Heads of Court across jurisdictions, we could not have been able to achieve the much we did in 2018. Therefore, to be able to double that feat in 2019, let us know that we cannot do without the judiciary.”
He further called for the unalloyed collaboration of other stakeholders, and urged Nigerians to be “more dedicated and determined in reducing corruption to the barest minimum”.
“Those who stole our commonwealth should know that there is no hiding place for them. A high tension searchlight is being beamed on them, it is in their interest to surrender because the game is up”, he said.
Meanwhile, the Commission has already secured three convictions in 2019, as Justice D. Z. Senchi of the FCT High Court, Jabi, on January 2, 2019, convicted Augustine James and Cyrinus Valentine Richard and sentenced them to 14 years in jail without an option of fine. They were prosecuted on a six-count amended charge of conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretences and forgery.
Justice Senchi also convicted Edwin Ogbomwan (aka Thomas Jerry Stars) who was prosecuted by the Advance Fee Fraud Unit of the Commission. He was convicted for Internet-related fraud and sentenced to two months imprisonment with an option of fine of N1, 000,000 (One Million Naira) only.
The convict is also to forfeit his Toyota Camry 2006 model, and iPhone X to the Federal Government.