GIABA boss said anti-corruption agencies should be totally independent.
The Inter-Governmental Action Against Money Laundering in West Africa, GIABA, on Wednesday in Abuja said that law enforcement agencies need total independence to function effectively.
The Director General of GIABA, Abdullahi Shehu, stated this while clamoring for better funding of the Economic and Financial crimes Commission (EFCC) at the ongoing 6th INTERPOL Global Programme on Anti- Corruption, Financial Crimes and Asset Recovery.
Speaking on ‘Recovering the Proceeds of Crime: key legal and practical issues and challenges’, Mr. Shehu said he was advocating for the provision of part of the recovered funds by the federal government as it is the practice in other developed countries.
“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.
“Commonwealth countries, including Nigeria shouldn’t be so regimented.” Mr. Shehu said
Mr. Shehu also said that law enforcement agencies should be able to benefit directly from recovered funds in order to stop the practice of going to the National Assembly or the presidency to beg for funds.
“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 said
He also advocated for complete independence of the operations of the EFCC and other law enforcement agencies noting that the major problems faced in fighting corruption and economic crimes is undue interference of the political class.
Also speaking, Deputy Director, Central Bureau of Investigation, India, Yagnic Venkata, 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.
Mr. Venkata said that forensic audit becomes a major factor and an attraction to investigators in the face of escalating corporate fraud. He 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, which an investigator needs to track and trail proceed of crimes.
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