The modus operandi of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) are in the following basic stages – receive complaints; investigate the complaints to gather more facts; effect an arrest and then pursue due and diligent prosecution, Head of the EFCC Ibadan zonal office, Mr. Akaninyene Ezima, said on Thursday.
He said this at a media briefing at the commission’s zonal office in Iyaganku, Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, while responding to accusations that the anti-graft agency was in the practice of arresting before investigating.
The agency has also been accused of detaining suspects unduly and longer than allowed by the law.
But Ezima stressed that the commission sticks strictly to the steps he highlighted. He explained that some suspects would stay longer in custody if more sensitive facts emerged during interrogation.
He said: “The perception that EFCC arrests before investigating is wrong. First we receice the complaints, then the onus is on us to investigate it and gather more facts before effecting an arrest once we are armed with the facts. During interrogation, we comfront the suspect with our facts. The conditions in which the suspects remain a little longer in custody is if more and sensitive facts emerge from the responses”.
At the briefing, the EFCC boss highlighted the zone’s activities and achievements since it was established in January 2016.
He revealed that the commission, has so far recovered over N57million from various fraud suspects between Febraury and September, 2016.
His words: “Between February and September, we received over 200 petitiins out of which 123 are under investugations. 80 suspects were arrested during the course of investigation, out of these cases, 8 are already before the courts at various stages of trial.
“We have also, within the same period, seized 6 vehicles from suspected fraudstees and recovered N57, 316, 607.15”
Ezima however pointed out that the commission can do more with the public’s coperation, especially in supplying useful information.
He promised that as always, whistle blowers identity would be protected and their information treated with utmost confidentiality.
He stressed that members of the public have a huge role in safegaurding the nation’s commonwealth and guarding against fraudsters, by volunteering useful information to the commission.
His words: “We can do more if information is made available to us by members of the public. We need to have more information to checkmate those looting the nation’s commonwealth. And of course, we will always protect whistle-blowers identity. Information and identities of those who volunteer information will be treated with utmost confidentiality”.
The EFCC boss, at the press conference, noted that the management of some higher instituions in the South West were under investigation and that their cases would be concluded soon, adding that those found culpable, would face the music.