The Director-General, Inter-Governmental Action Against Money Laundering in West Africa, GIABA, Abdullahi Y. Shehu, said the Economic and Financial crimes Commission, EFCC, should be completely independent to enable it perform optimally.
Shehu made the statement in Abuja at the on-going 6th INTERPOL Global programme on anti- corruption, financial crimes and asset recovery holding at the EFCC academy.
Speaking to the topic “Recovering the Proceeds of Crime: key legal and practical issues and challenges,” the DG said: “I am advocating for providing part of the recovered funds for the EFCC and other law enforcement agencies, this is the practice in America and other parts of the world where serious attention is paid to the success of the law enforcement agencies.
According to the him, commonwealth countries, including Nigeria should not be so regimented, stressing that law enforcement agencies should be able to benefit directly from recoveries as the era of going to the National Assembly or the presidency begging for funds should be a thing of the past.
“Imagine the EFCC benefiting from the billions of naira recovered from Cecilia Ibru, former Managing Director of Oceanic Bank that would have gone a long way to reasonably ameliorate part of its financial challenges,” he opined.
He also advocated for complete independence of the operations of the EFCC and other law enforcement agencies, noting that one of the major problems in fighting corruption and economic crimes is undue interference of the political class.
Earlier, the deputy director, Central Bureau of Investigation, India, Yagnic Venkata Krishna Arige, in his paper titled “Forensic Audit and trail of Fraud- The Approach of Investigators”, said that INTERPOL member countries need a comprehensive and multi-disciplinary approach to combat corruption and all forms of economic and financial crimes.
He said that forensic audit becomes a major factor and an attraction to investigators in the face of escalating corporate fraud.
Arige added that member countries should work on the necessary legislation and all that is required to ensure that directors of all registered companies are coded through a Director Identification Number, DIN, through which an investigator can track and trail proceed of crimes
The week long conference is to end on Friday, October 11.