THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, or EFCC, has urged for greater coordination and engagement with the media in the battle against escalating incidences of real estate fraud, money laundering, and cyber fraud in the state and the country as a whole.
Abdulkarim Chukkol, the acting Executive Chairman of the EFCC, expressed concern about the recent increase in the involvement of Nigerians in online crimes and money laundering practises both within and outside the country.
Chukkol addressed on Thursday at a one-day training for journalists in Akwa Ibom State on “Effective Reporting of Economic and Financial Crimes” through the EFCC Assistant Zonal Commander 1, Uyo Zonal Command, Bawa Hamidu Saidu.
He thanked journalists across the country for their efforts in reporting the commission’s actions, particularly arrests and arraignments, and assured them that the EFCC was ready and committed to putting an end to escalating real estate crimes.
He did, however, warn the public to be wary of certain groups of people who always pose themselves as EFCC officers in order to extort money from them.
“The increasing number of real estate and internet-related cases is concerning.” “The real estate sector has been identified as a significant source of money laundering in Nigeria,” added the Chairman.
In his remarks, Mr Dele Oyewale, Assistant Director Media and Publicity, EFCC, expressed his joy that the commission’s interventions have been able to minimise the spike in cybercrime in the country despite the multiple hurdles it has in the fight against economic and financial crimes.
Oyewale, who spoke shortly after his lecture presentation on “Investigative Journalism and Nigeria’s Fight Against Money Laundering,” cautioned journalists to avoid bias in their investigations and to constantly focus on professionalism.
“We are committed to ensuring that cybercrime activities are kept to a bare minimum,” he says. Yes, there are obstacles, but the commission is far ahead of them.
“On the issue of money laundering, I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to the media for greater collaboration, synergy, and cooperation with the EFCC at both the zonal command and the Corporate Headquarters.”
In his lecture titled “Trends, Perplexities, and Challenges of Cybercrime Enforcement in Nigeria,” Assistant Commander, 2, EFCC, Emeka Ukpai stated that Nigeria has been labelled a breeding ground for crime due to the rate of citizen involvement both locally and internationally.