Metro

EFCC laments declining number of whistleblowers

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has presented its second witness in the ongoing trial of four staff of Fidelity Bank Plc accused of N874 million fraud.

The Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, has lamented the declining number of whistleblowers across the country despite handsome rewards offered to informants.

The Chairman of EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa, stated this on Thursday at a one-day town hall meeting on strengthening the capacity of stakeholders on the Whistleblowing policy, held at La Luna Hotel Awka, Anambra State.

Bawa, who was represented by Enugu Zonal Commander, EFCC, Oshodi Johnson, recalled how EFCC, was provided with several information leading to the recovery of huge stolen money meant for the masses, adding that such funds recovered, including the $9.8m and $11m recovered from former NNPC Managing Director, Mr. Andrew Yakubu, and at an apartment in Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos, respectively.

He listed some challenges undermining the policy effectiveness of EFCC to include ignorance of its legal and administrative frameworks as well as difficulties in navigating the complicated bureaucratic processes for claiming the advertised incentives.

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“It is also not impossible that the few false informants who were prosecuted for wanting to turn a serious programme to jokes discouraged some other would-be informants.

“Whatever the challenges are, it is imperative that there is fresh awakening to sustain the flow of critical intelligence to Nigerian law enforcement agencies.”

Bawa reiterated the Commission’s commitment to the success of the Policy which he described as critical peg of Federal government’s anti-corruption framework, promising to partner with AFRICMIL and other community-based groups in strengthening their capacities to identify and quickly report suspected cases of corruption in their communities.

Earlier in his speech, Coordinator, African Center For Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL), Chido Onumah, noted that whistleblowing had proved to be the most direct method of exposing corrupt acts, adding that early detection and exposure of mismanagement of public funds, bribery, fraud, theft of public funds and other illicit acts as effective strategy in the fight against corruption.

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“We all are aware that corruption thrives in multiple forms in our communities, but most visibly in the misappropriation of funds and abandonment of projects that could bring development and meaningfully turn around the lives of the people.

“We are both morally and legally bound as citizens not to keep silent or acquiesce to any act of corruption or wrongdoing whenever we see one.”

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