EFCC, others, need total independence, better funding – GIABA boss

Semiu Salami
Semiu Salami
EFCC operatives

The Director-General, Inter-Governmental Action Against Money Laundering in West Africa, GIABA, Dr. Abdullahi Shehu, has said that the Economic and Financial crimes Commission, EFCC and other law enforcement agencies in the country need complete independence in order to perform optimally.

Dr. Shehu, while speaking on the topic: “Recovering the Proceeds of Crime: key legal and practical issues and challenges” at the on-going 6th INTERPOL Global programme on Anti- Corruption, Financial Crimes and Asset Recovery at the EFCC Academy in Abuja, also said that the agency deserves better funding.

‚ÄúI am advocating for providing part of the recovered funds for the EFCC and other law enforcement agencies, this is the practice in America and other parts of the world where serious attention is paid to the success of the law enforcement agencies. Commonwealth countries, including Nigeria shouldn‚Äôt be so regimented,” Dr. Shehu said.

According to the GIABA boss, law enforcement agencies should be able to benefit directly from recoveries as the era of going to the National Assembly or the presidency begging for funds should be a thing of the past.

“Imagine the EFCC benefiting from the billions of naira recovered from Cecilia Ibru, former Managing Director of Oceanic Bank, that would have gone a long way to reasonably ameliorate part of its financial challenges,” he said.

He also advocated for complete independence of the operations of the EFCC and other law enforcement agencies, noting that one of the major problems in fighting corruption and economic crimes is undue interference of the political class.

Earlier, the Deputy Director, Central Bureau of Investigation, India, Yagnic Venkata Krishna ARIGE, in his paper titled “Forensic Audit and trail of Fraud- The Approach of Investigators”, said that INTERPOL member countries need a comprehensive and multi-disciplinary approach to combat corruption and all forms of economic and financial crimes.

He said that forensic audit becomes a major factor and an attraction to investigators in the face of escalating corporate fraud.

He also said that member countries should work on the necessary legislation and all that is required to ensure that directors of all registered companies are coded through a Director Identification Number, DIN.

The DIN, he said is what an investigator needs to track and trail proceed of crimes
The week long conference ends on Friday, October 11, 2013.

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