By Gideon Arinze in Enugu
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has reaffirmed its commitment to partnering the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the fight against crime and other related offences.
The commission’s Zonal Head for Enugu Zonal Office, Usman Imam, who spoke during a media briefing on the ‘Collaboration between the EFCC and the FBI in the fight against cyber crime’ on Wednesday in Enugu, said such collaborative efforts would ultimately help in the fight against graft.
According to him, there was every need to work with the FBI in tracking and dealing with perpetrators of cyber crime, especially now that it is assuming a terrifying dimension.
Imam was also speaking against the backdrop of 78 Nigerians indicted by the FBI for alleged fraud in the United States.
Imam noted that 10 out of those arrested for various crimes are in the zone, adding that it was working to ensure that they are tracked and dealt with.
”Though it is a case of cross boarder crime, we can track down those involved and possibly extradite them because of the mutual treaty that exists between Nigeria and the US,” he said.
On the successes recorded in the fight against cyber crime, he said the zone has so far arrested 88 suspected fraudsters since 2015, with 70 of them in 2019 alone.
He noted that out of the total number of suspects arrested, the zone has successfully obtained 59 convictions out of which 51 were among those prosecuted.
He said that a total sum of N213,850,230 has also been recovered so far, adding that all of the efforts are in conformity with the acting chairman’s directives.
He said that there was no time to tackle the increasing rate of cyber crime which has destroyed what could have been one of the most developed countries on earth by now.
”It is in recognition of the foregoing and realising the effects of cyber crime that the acting head of the commission, Ibrahim Magu, directed the zonal offices to commence investigation and arrest cyber criminals across zonal offices in the east,” he said.
He called on the media to cooperate with the commission in the fight against corruption rather than promote corrupt practices such as ponzi schemes that pose as genuine businesses, while also calling on parents to inculcate in their children, values of patience and hard work.