The acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, has re-emphasized the need to include anti-corruption studies in the curricula of institutions of higher learning in the country.
“The Commission has been engaging the National University Commission, NUC, on the possibility of introducing anti-corruption courses in the curricula of higher institutions in the country”, he said.
Speaking in Hausa during a special programme on Bond 92.9FM, Lagos, Magu said: “If we realize that corruption and economic and financial crimes can hinder a nation, then, it is not out of place to introduce this kind of course in our tertiary institutions as an impetus to our drive to change the narrative on our campuses as the undergraduates constitute the major actors in Internet crimes.
“By so doing, we will have literally opened the eyes of these students, who will someday hold positions of leadership in the affairs of the nation, to the inherent dangers in this vice. And in the end, they will turn out to be crusaders of anti-corruption war, with the nation being the overall beneficiary.”
Magu, who was represented by the Commission’s Zonal Head in Lagos, Muhammed Rabo, also explained the rationale behind the involvement of the Commission in the monitoring of the last general election.
He said: “Vote buying is another form of corruption. It is a vice that must be condemned by all and sundry. It is an unfolding trend in our electoral process.
“The acting Chairman, in his swift reaction to that, had to rise to the occasion.
“We must nip it in the bud because not only can it undermine the credibility of the elections, it is also capable of depriving the country the right of leadership we want.”
In his reaction to the ongoing clampdown on internet fraudsters, he said the efforts would be sustained because the activities of the perpetrators had given the country a bad name.
He also assured that the Commission was winning the war against the infamous Yahoo boys, adding that, “in fact, internet fraudsters now know that it is no more business as usual. I can say this with all confidence.
“The clampdown is not only in Lagos; it is across the country, especially as we have now opened more offices.”
He further explained that as part of efforts to discourage the youth from engaging in this criminal practice, the EFCC had been carrying out public advocacy and education against the commission of economic and financial crimes.
“We go into secondary schools to educate them about the consequences of crime, while also warning them to shun all forms of criminality because it will always end in pains and sorrow,” he said.
Magu also described as untrue the claim by some members of the public that the EFCC had been selective in its operations.
He said the anti-graft had always given equal attention to all petitions it received, adding that “Our doors are open to all Nigerians with genuine complaints that can be substantiated in law.
“In fact, the Commission has zero tolerance for corruption and will not even spare any of its staff caught on the wrong side of the law.”
He also lauded the whistle-blowing policy of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, which he described as a welcome development in the ongoing fight against corruption.
“It a win-win thing. Apart from assured security and protection, there is also a reward system for any genuine intelligence or information brought forward by a whistleblower,” he added.
The Lagos Zonal Head also used the opportunity to re-iterate that the Commission had been able to raise the bar in the fight against corruption with a number of convictions in its kitty.
“As at December 2018, the Commission had 314 convictions, among which are two former governors, Jolly Nyame of Taraba and Joshua Dariye of Plateau States, who are currently serving jail terms in Kuje prison.
“At the Lagos Zonal office, we have recorded 48 convictions this year and about 150 across the country.
“It will also interest you that the Commission, in the last three years, has recorded 798 convictions: 103 in 2015, 195 in 2016, 189 in 2017 and 314 in 2018.
“To further prove its commitment to the fight against corruption, the Commission, under the leadership of the acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, has recovered N871bn and 407 mansions. In the last three years.”