By Chimezie Godfrey
The Federal Government has inaugurated the Governing Board of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on Thursday in Abuja.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha in his speech on the occasion noted that the essence of the inauguration of the Governing Board was to help expedite the execution of the statutory functions of the EFCC.
He said,”I am very delighted to welcome you all to the inauguration of the Governing Board of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) to help expedite the execution of the statutory functions of the EFCC.
“Let me, therefore, congratulate the Chairman and members of the Governing Board on your well-deserved appointments, which is a demonstration of Mr. President’s confidence in your integrity, intellectual abilities and competence to contribute to the realization of the mandate of the Commission
“The Senate had on the 5th of October, 2021 confirmed the nominations of Secretary of the Commission and Board Members of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission as sent by Mr. President in accordance with the EFCC (Establishment) Act, 2004, hence the reason for this inauguration.
“You are, however, required to put in your best to combat financial and economic crimes in the country.
“The Commission is empowered to prevent, investigate, prosecute and penalise economic and financial crimes and is charged with the responsibility of enforcing the provisions of other laws and regulations relating to economic and financial crimes, as well as fight terrorism.”
The SGF reiterated the fact that Governing Boards are creations of the enabling statutes of the various institutions, with the main responsibility for giving policy direction to Management, in order to contribute towards the developmental goals of Government.
“This presupposes that the Management should be allowed to execute its day-to-day activities without undue interference by the Boards.
“I therefore, expect that all hands will be on deck to generate robust policy initiatives that will help this administration achieve its fight against corruption and revamp the economy.
“Similarly, in carrying out your responsibility as Board Members, you must also eschew corruption totally as Government will not hesitate to sanction all infractions,” he said.
Mustapha congratulated all appointees and urged them to see this as a call to duty which is unique and important, as he prayed that God Almighty will endow them with the wisdom and grace needed to carry out the duties successfully.
“It is therefore, my honour and privilege to inaugurate the following persons and representative of MDAs into the Board of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC): AbdulRasheed Bawa – Executive Chairman, Luqman Muhammad – Member, Anumba Adaeze – Member, Alh. Kola Raheem Adesina – Member, and Alh. Yahaya Muhammad – Member.
Haruna Nuhu Koko – Department of State Services, Reginald Chukwudi Karawusa – Security and Exchange Commission, Pius Agboola – National Insurance Commission, Salisu Abdu – Nigeria Communication Commission, Nwakaego Celine Nwajei – Nigerian Postal Service, Justine B, Nidiya – Corporate Affairs Commission, U.G Mohammed – Nigeria Custom Services, Muhammed Aminu Muhammed – Nigeria Immigration Services, and Umar Maman Sanda – Nigeria Police Force.
“Others are Emmanuel Andrew Naman – National Intelligence Agency, Ibrahim Abdul – National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Gabriel Christopher – Federal Ministry of Finance, Adamu Shaibu – Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jeremiah Abue – Central Bank of Nigeria,
Galadima Yusufari Gana – Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, Representative of Ministry of Justice
George Abang Ekpungu – Secretary to the Commission,” the SGF stated.
The EFCC Boss, AbdulRasheed Bawa recalled that the Commission had been without .a board for for six years sequel to a series of events that had happened which warranted the non-existence of the board.
“So it is something that gladdens (my) heart, of course, being a former staff of the EFCC, and now the chairman of the EFCC, that today the EFCC is having a board ..
“As you have said, Your Excellency, we have a saying at the EFCC that we have one of the most cosmopolitan boards, looking at public service in this country, looking at the composition of the fact that all law enforcement, and security organizations in this country are represented on the board as well as other regulatory agencies like NICOMSAT as well as Central Bank of Nigeria.
“So we’re happy for this day. And I want to assure, Your Excellency and the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, that we’re not unfamiliar, with the daunting task before us. We have been doing well, last year, it has been a difficult year with COVID-19. But the EFCC has managed to set a new record in terms of recoveries as well as, you know, convictions,” he said.
Bawa pointed out that last year alone, the Commission recorded 2220 convictions, which he said is the highest ever recorded within one calendar year by the EFCC.
According to him, the closest to that was in 2019 when the EFCC recorded only 1280 convictions.
He however disclosed that the Commission lost 37 cases in 2021, while expressing his believe that with the inauguration of the Governing Board, they will be able to do better.
“Looking at also the figure that we have lost within the Same calendar, we lost 37 cases. ..
“If you do the math, you have excellency, you will understand that we had 98.54% success rate in court. But with the inauguration of this board,I believe with the wealth of experience that all of us are bringing to the board, we will be able to do better.
“Looking at what we have done and the daunting task before us, and as you have said, Nigeria has succeeded in even exporting this problem in overseas, I can understand where you’re coming from, we will deal with it, we will not.
“We are happy to be here and all the board members, thank you very much. Also help us to thank Mr. president for headhunting all of us to be the ones that he is entrusting (with)this problem of fighting corruption in this country,” Bawa said.