By EMMANUEL UDOM
As the Edo State governorship election draws near, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) Benin zonal office, has advised Compliance officers of banks to report suspicious transactions to the Commission.
Benin Zonal head of the EFCC, Muhtar Bello stated this during a meeting with compliance officers of various banks in Benin City, Edo State.
Dele Oyewale, head, Media & Publicity for the agency said Bello spoke to the bankers on behalf of the acting Executive Chairman, Umar Abba Mohammed, charged the bankers to be alert as politicians may want to use banks for illicit transactions before, during and after the elections. “Once the transaction is above the stipulated threshold, you have a duty to report. So be alert, ” he said.
He noted that bankers have a key role to play in the fight against corruption and economic and financial crimes, but bemoaned the fact that most of the fraud committed by fraudsters, are aided by bankers. “Sometimes bankers are culpable because they do not always carry out due diligence and comprehensive Know Your Customers, KYC. KYC should be a continuous process”. he said.
He charged bankers to adhere strictly with banking rules, shun temptation in the line of duty and report any transaction that fails the simple rules of integrity. “Adhere to the rules of Know Your Customer and acquaint yourself with the Money Laundering Act, so you don’t fail in your duties”, he said.
Meanwhile, newly- elected executive members of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Benin-City branch on Tuesday, September 8, 2020 paid a Courtesy Visit to the Benin zonal office of the Commission.
The newly-elected chairman, Pius I. Oiwoh who led his team, said the EFCC was a critical and strategic partner to NBA, hence the need to familiarise themselves with the EFCC. “We are here to seek a good working relationship and to sustain the relationship. The EFCC is a critical and strategic partner to the Nigerian Bar association, NBA”.
Muhtar .S.Bello who received the NBA officials on behalf of the acting Executive Chairman, Umar.A. Muhammed expressed delight that the NBA officials were in his office to seek collaboration with the Commission in the fight against corruption and economic and financial crimes. “I am happy to welcome you on behalf of the chairman of the Commission. The fight against corruption is for all Nigerians, as the EFCC cannot do it alone which is why I am delighted when Nigerians and reputable organisations collaborate with the EFCC to fight corruption”.
He assured the officials that the EFCC’s doors were opened and receptive to ideas and information on how to win the fight against corruption.