…Arrests 300 for cyber crimes in one month
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday said that from June 1, it will be mandatory for every financial institution in the country, especially banks, to make available their assets declaration forms.
Chairman of EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa, disclosed this to State House correspondents after meeting behind closed doors with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The new EFCC chairman said at the meeting with the President, a lot of things which bordered on the eradication of financial crimes were reviewed, adding that henceforth, it would not be business as usual. He said: “We reviewed a lot the things that we want to do towards eradication of financial crimes in Nigeria. As you are aware, I was here about two weeks ago before my taking over.
“He (President Buhari) is happy with what he has heard so far with the reforms we are working on with the new EFCC going forward, in terms of the way we investigate, prosecute and generally execute our mandate.
“My assurance to Nigerians, going forward, is that we are going to do our best to ensure that this country is free of financial crimes. Let me just put this, we understood that the tail end of every financial crime is for the criminal to have access to funds that he or she has illegitimately got, and we are worried about the roles of financial institutions.
“We have discussed, but we hope that all financial institutions, particularly the banks, will declare their assets as provided for by the law, in accordance with the Bank, Employees Declaration of Asset Act.
“The EFCC, come June 1, 2021, will be demanding for these asset declaration forms, filled by the banks so that the line that we have drawn from the first of June is really complied with by banks in particular.”
Asked to explain more on cyber crimes, he said: “Well, the issue of cybercrime is a huge problem for this country. In the last one month, we have arrested about 300 cyber criminals across the country and it was reported in the media. It is something that I am particularly worried about.
“As a young man, I am appealing to all young Nigerians to desist from these cybercrime activities. It is bringing bad image to our country, it is giving the country a bad name, it is also chasing away a lot of foreign investment that we need.
“I call on all parents, guardians, and, of course, elders in the community, in the society to be able to talk to these young people to desist from these crimes.
“These are crimes that they commit online. And, of course, there is nothing like patting your back to say go and sin no more. Our laws do not provide for that. It is a crime and as we say in EFCC, EFCC will get you anywhere, anytime.”