The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), yesterday, stated that its recent raid on the Bureau De Change (BDC) hub in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) was mainly behind the naira’s significant rise against the American dollar at the parallel market.
Its Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, said this yesterday at a workshop on “Effective reporting of economic and financial crimes” planned for journalists covering the commission in Abuja.
Operatives of the anti-graft agency, last month, invaded Wuse Zone 4 in the FCT over reports that some Bureau De Change (BDC) operators were mopping up foreign currencies, thereby causing the naira to fall against the dollar.
Justifying the operation, the commission stated that it received intelligence that some forces with massive naira inflows had organized resources and were busy buying up available foreign currencies, especially U.S. dollars, to either keep or smuggle some out of Nigeria.
Bawa said that one achievement, which most Nigerians may not easily acknowledge is the impact which EFCC’s intervention in the forex market has had on the value of the naira.
“From well over N710 to the dollar, following the commission’s intervention, the naira has appreciated significantly against the dollar at the parallel market and we are not relenting in our efforts to check harmful speculative activities in the sector,” he said.
The EFCC boss also faulted systemic limitations for the delay in the determination of high-profile corruption cases in court.
According to him, the war against corruption is a worthy fight for the soul of Nigeria and future generations that should not be left to the EFCC alone.
“Nevertheless, there are issues in the media profiling of the commission that are less than desirable. The notion, for instance, that the commission is draconian in its approach to fighting cybercrime is perhaps borne out of poor understanding of its modus operandi,” Bawa said.
He advised the media industry to be circumspect in reporting corruption cases, as it shapes global perception of Nigeria and its institutions.
Bawa continued: “It logically follows that this sacred duty is one that must be discharged with a lot of responsibility and, of course, patriotism. Some of you will recall that at the end of 2021, the commission announced that it recorded a total of 2,220 convictions. I am pleased to inform you that we are poised to improve on that figure, as the record of convictions as of August 5, 2022 was 2,210.”
Head, Legal and Prosecution Department of the EFCC, Sylvanus Tahir, in his speech on “Challenges of prosecuting economic and financial crimes in Nigeria,” stated that the anti-graft agency is frustrated in several areas, sometimes from some quarters where maximum support is highly expected.
Revealing that the commission has more than 1000 cases in court and over 3000 cases at various stages of investigation, Tahir added that prosecution fees continue to increase as a result of delays associated with trials.
He emphasized on the need to amend the Evidence Act and Administration of Criminal Justice Act to accommodate the technological advancement and challenges of contemporary times.