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Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday said was collaborating with other anti-corruption agencies across the globe for the return of the nation’s commonwealth in overseas countries.
The commander of the Benin City zonal office of the commission, Suleman Bello, made the disclosure in his speech to commemorate African anti-Corruption Day with the theme, “Towards a common African Position on Asset recovery,” in Benin City.
Bello, who lamented that the African continent had continuously lost billions of dollars to Europe and other continents as a result of corruption, said Nigeria had over the years lost billions of naira to illicit financial flow.
He however attributed the backwardness of the country after 58 years of sovereign statehood to corruption.
“It is a settled fact that Nigeria as a country has over the years lost billions of naira to illicit financial flow. This act of corruption is the reason our country is still touted as potentially great nation after 58 years of sovereign statehood.
“It is this reason that there is unconscionable poverty in our otherwise rich nation,” he said.
He opined that the resources that would had delivered the good life to the majority of the people had been cornered and stolen by ravenous elite, leaving our roads, hospitals and other social amenities in appalling state.
He also disclosed that the Benin zonal office had in the last six months secured 51 convictions of persons involved in various kind of fraud, the sum of N45,619,706,71 million and properties and instruments of frauds, proceeds of crimes had been forfeited to the Federal Government.
He also added that in 2018, the commission secured 315 convictions in 2018 while between January and June this year, the commission had already secured numerous convictions and assets and properties worth billions of naira had been forfeited to the Federal Government across the country.
While noting that the level of corruption is incredible, destructive and unacceptable, he added that the commission alone cannot win the war against corruption except with members of the public supporting.
He urged Nigerians to take ownership of the fight and engage in mass education, mobilisation and active participation in the fight against corruption.