Nigerians abroad have been asked to join the President Buhari in the anti-corruption campaign in order to improve the floundering image of the country, cut waste and aid investment inflow. Nigeria is believed to lose billions of dollars to crooks who feast on public funds.
The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa spoke at the virtual training organised for Nigerians in Diaspora on Thursday.
Bawa who spoke through Dr Enakeno Oju said urged millions of Nigerians in the Diaspora to see themselves as anti-corruption envoys. The EFCC official said corruption fuels inequalities, aids poverty and provide incentives for extremism.
The training was organised by Human and Environmental Development Agenda, (HEDA Resource Centre in collaboration with the EFCC, the United Kingdom-based Kent University Law School and Finance Uncovered with the support of MacArthur Foundation, Open Society Initiative for West Africa, (OSIWA) and Open Society Foundation. About 40 participants attended the 5 hours long training including many from Europe, Poland, USA, Gambia and Nigeria
Speaking at the event, HEDA Resource Centre Chairman, Mr Olanrewaju Suraju said the training would strengthen the capacity of professionals, researchers and media practitioners to take more active role in asset and illicit funds tracing. Dr. Oju on behalf of the EFCC Chairman, Bawa, expressed full support for non-state actors helping to drive away corruption to the cesspool.
Uju said the fight against corruption is to reduce corruption or possibly eradicate corrupt practices in Nigeria. The EFCC boss said “Nigerians in Diaspora must join hands with President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to fight against Corruption for a better Nigeria”.
Another representative of the EFCC, Mr Ahmed Ghali ran trainees through the technical details of spotting money laundering. He said the law against money laundering in Nigeria is enforced by the Money Laundering Prohibition Act adding that the outflow of illicit funds undermines sustainable livelihood.
“In Nigeria, there is no common law defences to persons charged with money laundering offenses. The penalty for money laundering in Nigeria includes imprisonment for between two to three years,” he said
Resource persons like Dr Gbenga Oduntan, Nick Hildyard and Lionel Faull all based in the United Kingdom taught participants on technical skill needed to use search engines and social media platforms in discovering corrupt politically exposed persons providing the relevant tools for professionals and journalists needed to discover stolen assets and looted funds. Oduntan detailed participants through the technique of searching for property records and using new information technology skills. He said the issue of corruption is what Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora ought to take very serious.