By Emmanuel Udom
Acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mohammed Umar Abba, has declared open a two-day virtual capacity building intervention on corruption risk assessment, asset seizure, forfeiture and recovery, and borderless investigation for the Network of Anti-Corruption Institutions in West Africa.
“On behalf of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria His Excellency Muhammad Buhari, and the people of Nigeria, I will like to express my gratitude to the executive committee of this great Network of Anti-Corruption Institutions in West Africa, for granting this collaboration between the Institutions EFCC in capacity building and information exchange”
Wilson Uwujaren, head media & publicity for the agency quoted Abba as saying that the training was to strengthen the capacity of the ECOWAS member states in the investigation of trans-border crimes through collaborations.
This he said will help in curbing the prevalence of corruption in the sub-region. “Specifically this capacity building has been designed to address key issues on asset recovery, asset identification, tracing, seizure, forfeiture and return”, he added.
Dr Remi Ajibewa, Director Political Affairs, ECOWAS Commission, in an introductory address, commended the EFCC Academy for facilitating the course.
“Today’s capacity building programme is a good step forward to have operational staff of anti-corruption institutions in West Africa train together to allow themselves internalize common orientation, common practice, gain knowledge on the subject of borderless investigation and asset recovery”
While expressing gratitude to the EFCC boss for the material and financial support for the capacity building initiative, he stated that there is need for synergy in strengthening and enhancing the operationalising of borderless investigation in assets tracing and seizure.
In an overview of global financial crimes and investigation model, the acting Commandant EFCC Academy, Nnaghe Itam Obono, described money laundering as huge. “From reports by The Economist, well over 1.5 trillion is laundered each year through the global banking system.
“For us in West Africa we believe we should adopt intelligence-led financial crimes investigation model which is a means of enquiring into the financial affairs both of suspects or entities,” he explained.
The President, NACIWA, Ben Kampala, in his remark expressed gratitude to the cooperating countries.
“We are grateful to Nigeria, the ECOWAS and every country that is committed to the NACIWA dream for us to ensure effective corruption control,” he said