EFCC Commissions New Zonal Office In Kwara

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The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, on Thursday, December 21, 2023 commissioned the new Ilorin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, office complex, describing it as an attestation of the present administration’s determination to rid Nigeria of corruption.

At the ceremony held at the new office location, No. 10, Oko Close, Off Station Road, Ilorin Fagbemi stated that it was Tinubu government’s plan to free Nigeria from the grips of corruption noting that the EFCC was pivotal to the actualization of the dream. “The EFCC is pivotal in the Tinubu administration’s plan to remove impediments to accountability in governance institutions and strengthen mechanisms and platforms by which Nigerians can hold public officers to account”, he said.

He described corruption as a malaise that had been undermining government reform efforts at all levels noting that it was increasingly disruptive of our family, economic and social life. “Economic and financial crimes have negative impact on developmental programs and policy of government at all levels and ultimately fuels insecurity and erode gains arising from reforms in the core sectors of our economy”, he said.

While calling on the constituent States of the Federation, as well as the legislative and judicial arms of government, to key into the fight against corruption, economic and financial crimes in Nigeria, the AGF said one of the lessons learnt from the implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy, 2017-2022 is the need to ensure that the Strategy was also adopted and driven at subnational level.

He stated that, “It is for this reason that His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has accorded high priority to the fight against corruption, economic and other financial crimes through his key policy document: “Renewed Hope 2023 – Action Plan for a Better Nigeria”.

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He added that, “Beyond providing accommodation for the personnel of the Commission, it is the contemplation of this administration to remove every institutional and legal obstacle encumbering the Commission”, he said.

He further stated that the recovery and repatriation of Nigeria stolen wealth was an issue of great concern to the administration stressing that, “the EFCC is expected to continue to lead the charge to trace, recover and facilitate the return of our stolen wealth.”

The Chief Law Officer also reminded officers of the Commission of its obligation to always conduct its affairs strictly in accordance with the Rule of Law.

“Myself and the Executive Chairman, Ola Olukoyede are in accord on this, and I hope all personnel of the Commission will appreciate the fact that corruption is best fought within the ambit of the law”, he added.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman EFCC, Mr. Ola Olukoyede, charged officers of the Commission to be unsparing in their efforts to sanitise the business environment and support our country’s drive to attract Foreign Direct Investment, FDI, by tackling frauds of all hue, stressing that there would be no excuses for non-performance

Olukoyede used the occasion to reiterate his commitment to refocus the anti-corruption war by adopting modalities capable of stimulating economic growth and development in the overall interests of Nigerians.

He described the commissioning of the ultra-modern Ilorin Zonal Command’s office complex of the EFCC as “a dream come true” saying that the occasion was a fulfilment of a promise he made a few days ago when he was in Ilorin on a familiarisation visit.

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According to him, the EFCC Ilorin Zonal Command belonged to the second generation of the Zonal Commands established during the tenure of one of his predecessors, Ibrahim Magu.

He said that the office which was established in 2019 began operation from a rented apartment not too far from the new site noting that the desire to have a more secured environment for operational and administrative works was what informed to the project about to be commissioned.

The EFCC boss commended the Governor of Kwara State, Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq for his contribution to the successful delivery of the project. He also acknowledged the support of the Presidency and the National Assembly in appropriating funds for the completion of the project.

He further stated that “the anti-corruption thrust of the present administration is backed with political will” and assured that “the EFCC is ready to carry on with the fight in accordance with the rule of law.”

The EFCC Chair while commending the Ilorin Zonal Command for the successes recorded particularly in the mining sector urged officers of the Commission to intensify more efforts to ensure the actualization of the Renewed Hope Agenda of the Bola Tinubu administration in the solid minerals sector.

Mr. Olukoyede, however charged his men for more commitment, dedication and professionalism in the discharge of their duties. “I expect to see more vigorous enforcement of the law against illegal miners to ensure the actualisation of the Renewed Hope Agenda of the Bola Tinubu administration in the solid minerals sector”, he said.

In his goodwill message, the Kwara State governor Mallam Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq noted The fight against corruption is a national campaign that we must all support, especially at institutional levels.

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Mallam Abdulrahman, who is also the Chairman, Nigeria Govenors’ Forum said that his administration recently organised a 3-day intensive training on Compliance with Anti-Corruption Policies and Financial Regulatory Frameworks to keep commissioners, permanent secretaries, and other top government officials abreast of key issues in public financial management, sustainability reporting, and tax frauds, among others.

He stated further that, “erecting strong mechanisms to prevent the commission of crime, having the right legal framework and networks to checkmate corrupt practices, and striking the right balance between the public’s right to know of anti-corruption efforts of the government and actually recovering looted funds through strategic partnerships have been a bold feature of the President’s agenda to fight graft in a sustainable way.”

While congratulating the EFCC on the feat of having its Zonal Office in Ilorin, the governor praised the Commission’s efforts in tackling all shades of financial crimes as a matter of national emergency for the good of all.

The newly commissioned office complex, apart from providing office accommodation for all categories of staff, also has purpose-built interrogation rooms, holding facility for suspects, and canteen that serves the needs of both personnel and suspects in detention.

The event was graced by eminent personalities across the country including members of the State executive council, Federal and State Legislators, Heads of Security and Law Enforcement Agencies, Heads of Government Corporation and Agencies, Captains of industries and the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji (Dr) Ibrahim Zulu Gambari, CFR.

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