THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has secured a total of 312 convictions between January and December 2018, which is the highest conviction rate secured by the commision since President Muhammadu Buhari-led government started the anti-corruption campaign in 2015.
The record of convictions is a significant improvement from the 189 convictions recorded in 2017.
Also, compared to 117 convictions in 2013, 126 convictions in 2014, 103 convictions secured by the EFCC in 2015 and 182 convictions recorded in 2016, the 2018 success rate is the highest.
The high profile convictions recorded this year include that of two the politically exposed persons such as Jolly Nyame, a former governor of Taraba State and Joshua Dariye, a serving Senator and a former governor of Plateau state. Both are currently serving jail terms at Kuje Prison.
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Joseph Nwobike, has also been stripped of the highly revered legal title, he was convicted this year for perverting the course of justice.
Dariye and Nyame, who were sentenced to 14 years in prison had approached the Court of Appeal to challenge the “guilty” verdict handed down on them by a Federal Capital Territory High Court, Gudu presided over by Justice Adebukola Banjoko.
However, while upholding their convictions, the Appellate Court commuted Dariye’s jail term to 10 years, and that of Nyame to 12 years with a fine of N495 million.
The acting spokesperson of the EFCC, Tony Orilade stated the resolve of the Commision to change the narrative of corruption in the country.
“With the convictions, the EFCC, led by Ibrahim Magu as the acting Chairman, has remained consistent in its concerted efforts aimed at ensuring that the negative narrative of pervasive corruption in the system is changed for the better, and the perception that some persons are above the Law is altered,” he said.
The record of convictions in 2018 cuts across the various offices of the EFCC with Lagos securing 85 convictions, Abuja with 53, followed by Kano with 36. Port Harcourt secured 33 convictions, Gombe recorded 28; Benin had 27; Enugu, 15; Maiduguri, 11; Ibadan, 10; Uyo, 8, and Kaduna, 6.
Amos Abba is a journalist with the International Center for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, who believes that courageous investigative reporting is the key to social justice and accountability in the society.