Anti-graft War: UK, EFCC To Deepen Cooperation

EFCC Executive Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, with UK High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing.

…As Japan Pledges Support For Anti-Graft Commission

The United Kingdom, UK, and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, have restated their resolve to further strengthen the existing cooperation and partnership between them in the fight against economic crimes and corruption.

This indication was the high point of discussions, Tuesday, September 29, 2021 when the United Kingdom High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, visited the Anti-graft Headquarters in Abuja.

TheFact Nigeria notes the UK envoy’s expression of her admiration for the young and talented Chairman of the EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa, and said the UK was serious about returning ill-gotten gains and preventing it from happening in the first place.

Recalling past support of the UK government to the EFCC and the fight against corruption in Nigeria through the Combined Inter Agency Task Force, she reiterated that “We remain strong partners and we are here to support you”.

The EFCC boss, while thanking the envoy for her visit, stressed the need to strengthen the special relationship between the EFCC and the UK government and her agencies.

“We should continue to work together to achieve our mutual interests. We must try to strengthen the special relationship we have maintained especially with the NCA”, he said.

He said the Commission was working assiduously to change the narrative as far as the fight against corruption in Nigeria is concerned, and added that the focus is now to prevent corruption rather than being reactive.

He disclosed that the Commission will on Wednesday, September 29, 2021 launch its 2021-2025 Strategic Plan, prepared with the support of UK agencies.

Bawa thanked the envoy for the UK Government’s support in developing the Commission’s forensics capacity through training, adding that the EFCC under his leadership has deployed technology to improve its operations.

The EFCC boss disclosed that his agency recently launched an App, Eagle Eye, which simplifies the process of reporting economic and financial crimes.

The High Commissioner and her team were taken through a demonstration of the working of the App and the new Case Management Application of the EFCC.

The envoy expressed her admiration for the App, noting that even the UK does not have such an application.

In a similar development, the Japanese government has pledged to support the anti-graft agency in the fight against financial crimes.

The Japanese Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Nigeria, Matsunaga Kazuyoshi made the pledge today, September 29, 2021 during a courtesy visit to the Chairman of the Commission, at the headquarters in Abuja.

EFCC Boss, Bawa with Japanese envoy, Natsunaga Kazuyoshi.

Kazuyoshi, while expressing delight at the professionalism of the EFCC, recalled the Commission’s efforts in helping a Japanese victim of scam to recover and repatriate a sum of 370,000 Yen to Japan early this year, noting that it was “the first case in Japan where the victim’s money remitted overseas was returned”.

“The response of your organization in resolving the 419 scam case against Japanese victim is highly commendable,” he added.

The Japanese envoy asked for EFCC’s continuous cooperation in helping Japanese victims of fraud, noting that many victims were reluctant to come forward because of the difficulties in tracking monies transferred to foreign countries.

He further disclosed that the Japanese Government had conducted a training programme on governance in some countries and promised to extend the gesture to the EFCC.

“We would consider expanding our cooperation with the EFCC, including a training programme with a view to supporting anti-corruption measures in Nigeria,” Kazuyoshi said.

In his response, the EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, briefed the envoy on the mandate of the Commission and its strategic direction under his watch, especially the use of technology, and disclosed plans by the agency to launch its Strategic Plan, 2021-2025 on Wednesday, September 29, 2021.

The EFCC boss described the Commission as the hub of international cooperation in law enforcement in Nigeria adding that, “we can partner to see that economic crime is eradicated around the globe”.

He assured of the Commission’s willingness to continue to investigate any reported case where Japanese citizens are victims of scams and to restitute the recovered funds accordingly.

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