From Paul Ibe, Enugu
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has said it recorded a total of 126 convictions in 2014 on various corruption cases pending in courts.
According to the graft agency, the figure was higher than 117 convictions it secured in 2013.
Briefing newsmen on activities of the Commission in the south east in 2014, EFCC Head of media and publicity Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, described the development as “a feat in the light of the shenanigans that goes on in the Nigerian Judicial system.
He said “This, to all intent and purposes is a healthy progression that should be applauded. Obviously, there is something that the EFCC under Lamorde has gotten right with investigation and prosecution of cases, and the commission is poised to sustain this momentum with a view to recording more convictions this year”.
The commission image maker, reiterated EFCC,s commitment to see that cases pending in court were disposed of as quickly as possible.
According to him, “God willing, and if the strike by the judicial workers permits, the commission is expecting judgement in the N25 billion money laundering case instituted against Michael Igbinedion, younger brother to former Edo State Governor, Lucky Igbinedion and one Eboigbodin, on Friday January 30.
“In the same vein, a Federal High Court in Abuja is also expected to rule in the extradition proceeding initiated against Emmanuel Okoyomon, former managing director of the Nigerian Security Minting and Printing Company”.
He noted that the challenges of finance, frivolous applications by defence councils had remained a stumbling block to the activities of the anti-graft agency.
Uwujaren, hinted that the commission was benefiting from global partnership against corruption.
He said that the partnership was made possible by the EFCC chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde, through whom global confidence was restored in the commission, thereby permitting cooperation and exchange of intelligence between the agency and leading law enforcement organizations across the world.
“In the last two weeks,the commission played host to officers from the Metropolitan Police and the French Police, who were here to deepen cooperation between the EFCC and their organizations”, he added.
The commission, he further stated, recorded some feat through the Joint National Task Force, through which “it recovered the sum of N6.53 billion in evaded customs importation duties in Lagos between July 2012 and March 2014.
“Another joint recovery commenced operations at Onne in Port Harcourt in April 2014 to recover customs revenue in the South-South zone of the country.
“A sizable percentage of the conviction figure that I mention earlier was recorded here in Enugu. The zonal office has been up and doing in terms of timely response to petitions and speedy investigation of cases.
“The trend is expected to continue this year.”
“My message to the people of the zone is to take full advantage of this office by reporting all cases of economic and financial crimes to it”
Earlier, EFCC Head of operations south east zone, David Iloyanomo, had, solicited the assistance of the media in educating members of the public on cyber crime, which is now a common trend across the globe.