Barristers & Solicitors
EFCC secured 4,430 convictions in 19 months, says Bawa
EFCC Executive Chairman Abdulrasheed Bawa

Bawa urged the media to expose the corrupt in the society instead of celebrating them.

The EFCC boss said the war against corruption is a worthy fight to save the soul of Nigeria and secure the future generations.

He also said the commission was prepared to protect the naira from abuse by those he called crooks and foreign exchange black marketers.

Bawa, who spoke at a workshop on Economic and Financial Crimes Reporting for Journalists in Abuja, said the EFCC’s conviction rates were unbeaten in Africa.

He said: “I cannot end these remarks without updating you on some of our recent activities. 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.

“We have tried our best, from 195 convictions in 2016 to 365 in 2018; 1,280 in 2019, and 976 in 2020, because of COVID-19 pandemic. Before the coming of EFCC, criminal prosecution, as it related to financial crimes, was almost dead.

“These are the records we can beat our chest that in Africa no institution has achieved. It is our efforts that are being used as benchmarks.

“It is as a result of our efforts that the nation has the Money Laundering Act. This is an Act that has been amended, as much as the Appropriation Act.”

Bawa said an achievements of the EFCC under his administration was checking foreign exchange speculators.

He added: “However, one achievement, which most of you may not easily recognize, 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 in the parallel market, and we are not relenting in our efforts to check harmful speculative activities in the sector.

“I urge you to also beam your searchlights on this area as it is in our collective interest to have a national currency whose value is not subject to the whims of crooked speculators.”

The EFCC boss explained that the commission had not been draconian in its approach to anti-graft war.

According to him, the perception was borne out of lack of understanding of EFCC’s modus operandi.

He said: “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.

“But I am convinced that at the end of this workshop, we will all be better educated on the processes and procedures of the EFCC.

“As the watchdog of the society, you must be mindful that your reportage is a mirror that shapes global perception of our institutions and nation. It logically follows that this sacred duty is one that must be discharged with a lot of responsibility and, of course, patriotism.”