…EFCC worked with FBI to unravel fraud
By Soni Daniel
The Nigerian Government said on Friday it would take drastic measures to prevent Nigerians from engaging in cybercrimes to save its image from international embarrassment.
The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr Ibrahim Magu, made the declaration while receiving the leadership of Nigeria’s Diaspora Commission and the National Directorate of Employment in his office.
Magu, who was reacting to the arraignment of 77 Nigerians by the American Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI, over wire fraud, said that the country would not allow the fraudulent activities of a handful of its citizens to destroy the image of the millions of hardworking and honest Nigerians at home and abroad.
In doing so, Magu assured the United States of America of its full support and cooperation to ensure that the incidents of cybercrimes and wire fraud are curtailed; it would destroy the image of Nigeria and its people anywhere in the world.
The chairman revealed that the operation that led to the arrest of the suspects was jointly carried out between the FBI and the EFCC, which had rightly been acknowledged by the American security agency.
Magu said: “We must ensure that all Nigerians who connive with elements anywhere in the world to defraud people are fished out and adequately punished.
“For that reason, we are on the watch out for the culprits and we shall leave no stone unturned until they are apprehended and dealt with in accordance with the laws of this country.
Magu also vowed to take stringent actions against all Nigerians who contributed to the failure of the gas project in Cross River State that made a UK court to award over $9 billion to a foreign firm.
“We are going to go all out against the culprits who cost Nigeria the huge monetary loss and bring them to book. I can assure Nigerians that the suspects will not escape punishment no matter how powerful they may be.
“We are not going to allow these Nigerians to continue to rubbish the name of the country for their own selfish interest,” Magu said.
The Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Diaspora Commission, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, described the arrest of the 77 Nigerian suspects as a very sad commentary on Nigeria, despite the consistent fight against cybercrimes.
Dabiri-Erewa, who called for more actions in that regard, however, said that the 77 Nigerians were innocent until proved otherwise and called for adequate legal representation and open trial to prove their innocence.
She announced that the NDC would establish a special desk in EFCC to help checkmate the spread of cyber crimes and commended the commission for its efforts so far.
It will be recalled that the FBI had on Friday released the full list of Nigerians charged in the country for wire fraud and related offences.