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General News of Tuesday, 14 March 2023


Bawa has done well in prosecution of cases - CSOs

EFCC boss Abudlrasheed Bawa EFCC boss Abudlrasheed Bawa

Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have hailed Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, on his achievements, noting EFCC has done well in prosecution of cases and litigation.

National President of Campaign for Dignity in Governance (CDG), Razaq Olokoba, spoke at a conference, with the theme: EFCC Team under Abdulrasheed Bawa: Lessons in Conviction and Recovery and Need to Encourage a winning Team, in Ikeja, Lagos.

He noted that EFCC, under Bawa, has obtained more convictions and that attacks on the commission are from those out to undermine this.

Olokoba said the agency de demonstrated its continual relevance and earned confidence among the people.

He noted the success of the agency cannot be separated from the commitment and sacrifice of individuals who kept faith with their roles.

“At its inception, the mandate of EFCC was clear. It included prevention, enforcement and coordination. But in the earlier years there were issues with public confidence as a result of poor perception of laws and the feeling that implementation was targeted at the opposition. There was also low conviction rate even when cases were before the court, showing poor performance in enforcement and coordination.

"But in the last seven years, records have shown increased competence and commitment, following appointment of Bawa in February 2021. There was spike in conviction and recovery across all zones. For example, between 2016 and 2019, the number of conviction rose from 195 to 1280 and by 2021 the figure had hit 2220, a value amounting to 98.47 per cent of cases brought before the court. In the same year, over N150 billion was recovered, with recovery in other currencies, such as $386 million, 1.182 million pounds and 156000 euros”.

He said Nigeria, for the first time, witnessed a five-year period of “consistent unrelenting, unbiased and upscaling battle against corruption that has support of well-meaning citizens because of transparency and indisputable result,” adding EFCC remains one government agency that has moved from being regarded with pessimism and misgiving to that of being revered.

“For us, details of the work the EFCC team has been doing, is the fact that individuals like Bawa deserve a place in the fight against corruption.

"His integrity, intellectual prowess, dedication, proficiency of his legal team in unravelling thorny cases and ability to ensure conviction … He represents to us an exemplar in the fight against corruption. The anti-corruption efforts need more like him.

"Bawa and his like in this effort still have more to contribute and more to teach to generation of anti-corruption enthusiasts, practitioners and experts in this field of democratic institution building”, he said.