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EFCC secures six per cent conviction in nine years

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FROM 39, 970 corruption cases investigated, findings by The ICIR have shown that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) successfully recorded 2,544 convictions.

This represents 6.36 per cent of the entire cases probed by the Commission within nine years.

This is based on the EFCC Operational Statistics obtained by this newspaper, Monday in Abuja.


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The document revealed the number of petitions received by the anti-graft agency, the total number of cases investigated, cases filed in court as well as convictions secured between 2010 to 2019.

In total, the commission received 73, 948 petitions from members of the public while only 5,767 made it to the court.

EFCC operational statistic
EFCC operational statistic (2010 – 2019)

The EFCC has remained one of the two major anti-graft agencies established by law to combat corruption-related cases in the country. It is often complemented by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

Both were established under the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

“I identified corruption as the greatest bane of our society which was why I set up the ICPC and EFCC to tackle it headlong. Corruption drains billions of dollars from our economy. Corruption has returned to Nigeria and we are just beginning to fight it afresh,” Obasanjo said in February 2016, years after leaving office.

He later questioned the true autonomy of the anti-graft bodies under the current administration.

But, with supports from the Interpol, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), it strives to coordinate domestic efforts of the global fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.

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It recently unveiled its strategic plan from 2021 to 2025 with a mission to “eradicate economic and financial crimes through prevention, enforcement, and coordination.”

The plan was prepared by the department of planning, research, and statistics with supports from international organisations such as the British Council and the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Programme of the European Union (EU).

But, a further breakdown of the operational details from almost a decade revealed a gradual increase in the number of cases investigated and a steady rise in convictions.

For instance, in 2010, the commission received 6,782 petitions. From the figure, it investigated 2,399, pushed 206 to court, and eventually convicted 68.

In 2011, the number of petitions rose to 7,737. The petitions investigated also rose to 2,606 from the previous year. But, while the number of cases filed in court jerked up to 417, secured convictions dropped by one – 67 compared with the previous year.

In 2012, 4,914 petitions were received by the commission, 2, 062 were investigated, 502 cases were filed in court and 87 convictions secured.

By 2013, the petitions have risen to 6,089 but only 2,883 were investigated. While 485 of the cases were filed in court, the commission only secured 117 jail sentences against offenders. This figure is the highest from the previous years.

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The EFCC received a lower petition in 2014 with 4,941 allegations. But over 50 per cent of it pegged at 2,512 were investigated by the anti-graft agency. Three hundred and eighty-eight cases were later filed in the court for the year with 126 convictions.

Rise in convictions during President Muhammadu Buhari’s era

In 2015, the year President Muhammadu Buhari emerged office, the Commission received higher petitions of 5,979. From it, 2,662 were investigated, 462 were pushed to court while 103 persons prosecuted got convicted.

The year 2016 recorded 7,045 petitions, the EFCC investigated 4,660 cases, 390 were put on trial while 195 received convictions.

In 2017, the Commission received 8,251 petitions, probed 5,662, prosecuted 501, and convicted 189.

The years 2018 and 2019 witnessed the highest convictions and court cases respectively.

In 2018, 9,566 petitions were received by the EFCC. While 5,795 were investigated, 515 were placed on trial, and 312 were eventually convicted.

For the last year in the roll, the Commission had 12,644 petitions. At least, 8,729 were investigated from the petitions, 1,901 got prosecuted while 1,280 convictions were achieved.

This implies the commission secured 2,079 convictions under Buhari’s first term in office while a cumulative of the previous years, 2014 – 2010 witnessed 465 sentences.

Though the convictions were on the rise, experts believe the slow administration of the criminal justice system has adversely affected the nation’s anti-corruption drive.

In November, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo identified an urgent need to reverse the situation.

He cited an instance of how the UK Court of Appeal had once raised a concern on the slow judicial process. “…The court referred to the delays in the parallel proceedings before a Nigerian Court as catastrophic and that it could take a further 30 years to resolve.”

“Incidentally, the expert witness who testified on delays in the Nigerian Courts was a former Justice of the Supreme Court who testified that a case could take 20 to 30 years to resolve in a Nigerian Court,” Osinabjo added reflecting delays in the nation’s court.

President Muhammadu Buhari was voted into office based on three promises, to fight corruption, reduce insecurity, and boost the economy, but not much of these appeared to have been realised due to the prevailing state of insecurity, worsening economy, and corrupt practices.

Olugbenga is an Investigative Reporter with The ICIR. Email address: [email protected] Twitter handle: @OluAdanikin

If you or someone you know has a lead, tip or personal experience about this report, our WhatsApp line is open and confidential for a conversation

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