July 11, 2024

EFCC secures conviction of 60, as Internet fraud tops corruption cases in Rivers



…assures whistle-blowers of protection

By Davies Iheamnachor

PORT HARCOURT: The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has disclosed that it has secured the conviction of about 60 persons standing trial for financial offences in the state within the year, adding that it has numerous cases still ongoing in courts.

EFCC also noted that from its records internet fraud was top of the convictions and criminal cases it is investigating, calling on members of the public to provide the commission with useful information to aid its operation.

The Commission spoke during an Anti-Corruption walk in Port Harcourt organised by the Port Harcourt Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in collaboration with Civil Society Organisations and Sister security agencies and Relief International Africa to mark the 2024 African Union Anti-Corruption Day, tagged, ‘Effective Whistle Blower Protection Mechanism, A Critical Tool in the fight against Corruption.’

Speaking, the Acting Zonal Director of EFCC, Port Harcourt Zonal Directorate, Adebayo Adeniyi, observed that oil theft is one of the crimes that makes corruption fighting in the state peculiar, noting that criminality is high in the state.

Adeniyi said: “I have been here for over three months. I came in from Abuja and I noticed that the kind of criminal offences that happen here are quite different because the terrain is different. Here you see bunkering and all of that, we don’t see those kind of things in Abuja.

“The offence and criminal acts are different here. In that case you might have a bit of high level of criminal activities here because of the activities here.”

The EFCC’s Ag. Director, disclosed that the commission within the year has successfully secured the conviction of 60 persons standing corruption charges, adding that Internet fraud ranks high in the state.

Adeniyi said: “We have a lot of people under prosecution, but so far we have over 60 convictions, we have had this year. And we are going because we have a lot of cases in court. There are a lot of offences committed and a lot of investigations going on. The legal department and the operations departments are putting in their best.

“I am new in Rivers State, but I have not seen a lot of whistle blowers, but with this campaign today, it will bring the awareness to the people. If you don’t communicate with people, they would not know you can communicate with them and receive this kind of information. We wish to inform them that they are safe when the give is information.

“Looking at it. You will see that the internet fraud is always having a high level. We know out youths these days are every opportunity they go into internet fraud. So, the level of crime is high, that why you see that we are trying to clamp on them and see how we can reduce it.”