The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulkarim Chukkol has called on the media to engage more in investigative reporting as part of efforts to fight corruption and financial crimes in Nigeria.
Chukkol made the call during his opening remarks at a one-day Media Workshop for journalists on “Effective Reporting of Economic and Financial Crimes” which was held at Rosmohr Hotels, Ewet Housing Estate, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on Thursday, September 14, 2023.
The EFCC acting chairman, who was represented by ACE I Bawa Hamidu Saidu, the Commander, Uyo Zonal Command of the EFCC, noted that the Command has witnessed the rising incidence of internet fraud, real estate scams, and illegal oil bunkering.
Bawa urged the media to improve its support for the anti-graft agency by providing intelligence in those sectors for the betterment of the people.
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He said: “At the Uyo Zonal Command of the EFCC, the rising incidence of real estate scams, internet-related fraud and illegal oil bunkering are becoming worrisome. The real estate sector has been identified as vulnerable to money laundering practices in Nigeria. I urge the media to offer more reports on the activities of these sectors and expose suspected sharp practices.”
He urged the participants to be more vigilant and focused on the need to rid the state of the menace of corruption “as it is only then that we can expect real growth and development in our state”.
Delivering a lecture on “Investigative Journalism and Nigeria’s Fight against Money Laundering”, ACE I Dele Oyewale charged the participants to beam searchlight on money laundering practices, illegal oil bunkering and corrupt practices across boards through investigative reporting.
“I want to charge us as journalists, all the money laundering activities that are going on in the real estate sector, the Bureau De Change, are not reported. The Media does not report the activities of Bureau De Change, the real estate, and the car dealers. Nobody is asking questions and we have the media. These sectors are where investigative journalism is important. We must ask questions. The media is needed to beam proper searchlight on money laundering practices across the country through our investigative reporting. Find out. Ask useful questions, ask significant questions, ask penetrative questions and come up with reports in the overall interest of the society,” he said.
Speaking on the “Challenges of Prosecuting Economic and Financial Crimes”, DCE T. N. Ndifon, Head, Legal and Prosecution Department, Uyo Zonal Command of the EFCC, noted some of the challenges the Commission encounters in Courts which include the penchant of defendants to claim their statements were obtained under duress leading to frequent trial within a trial; frivolous no case submissions; cases having to state denovo due to the elevation or transfer of judges and delays in securing fiat to prosecute certain cases, among others.
The Head of the Advance Fee Fraud Section of the Uyo Zonal Command of the Commission, ACE II Emeka Upkai, spoke on “Trends, Peculiarities, and Challenges of Cybercrime Enforcement in Nigeria” where he highlighted the prevalent cyber security risks as well as safeguards to avoid becoming a victim of cyber-fraud or attack.
Participants were drawn from different media organisations in the state.
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