Ex-governors' Trial Reflects EFCC's No-Tolerance — Olukoyede

Ola Olukoyede, the head of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has vowed to spearhead a comprehensive crackdown on corruption, promising no leniency for those implicated in any manner of financial wrongdoing.

Olukoyede emphasized that the recent indictment of two ex-governors showcased the EFCC’s commitment to impartiality, signaling that no one would be shielded from prosecution.

The EFCC initiated legal proceedings against Willie Obiano, a former Anambra State governor, in January, alleging that he misappropriated around N4 billion in security allocations during his term spanning from 2014 to 2022.

Likewise, on February 24, 2024, the anti-corruption body brought charges against Abdulfatah Ahmed, the former governor of Kwara State, accusing him of involvement in a purported N10 billion fraud scheme.

Addressing attendees at an anti-corruption event held in Abuja on Monday, aimed at raising awareness about cybercrimes, the Chairman of the EFCC reiterated his dedication to a comprehensive, unified campaign against corrupt activities.

A statement by the EFCC spokesman, Dele Oyewale, quoted Olukoyede as saying: “We will not spare anyone. We will not spare the mega thieves. As we are doing the mega, we will also do those at the lower end.

“In the last two months, we have arraigned two former governors. So, it is not true that we are only focused on Internet fraudsters.

“Of course, Internet fraud is bad enough but our focus is on every form of economic and financial crimes.”

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He cautioned youths against indulging in cybercrimes, pointing out that the consequences of being convicted of such crimes were grave.

“Youths need to know that being ex-convicts has career limitations. Ex-convicts can’t run for public office, the stigma alone is even terrible.

“I urge you to avoid Internet crimes by all means. Your future is more important than any immediate gains from such crimes,” he said.

Olukoyede said the EFCC under his watch was deeply interested in giving youths a glorious and sustainable future.

With this aim in mind, he revealed intentions to set up a Cybercrime Research Center at the EFCC Academy.

“The centre will involve youths in in-depth research about the issue of cybercrime. Their energies will be deployed toward profitable engagements,” he said.

Olukoyede urged young people to adopt a mindset of hard work and dedication, emphasizing that the road to success requires diligence and integrity.

“There is dignity in labour. Let’s come together. All of us must come together and agree that corruption is evil. Don’t leave the fight to EFCC alone,” he said.

Ayodele Olawande, the Minister of State for Youth Development, stressed the significance of solidarity as he urged youth across the nation to stand behind the EFCC in its battle against economic and financial crimes, along with other corrupt practices.

“Nigeria is supposed to have progressed more than this. We will not allow corrupt people to destroy our future, that is why we need to come together and fight this evil in our society. That is why we need to continuously run this campaign because I am convinced that every one of us has a part to play. Without you, there is little or nothing the EFCC can do.

“Let’s show the world that Nigeria’s young people are determined to change the narrative,” the minister said.

Africa Today News, New York

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