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We will throw more corrupt people behind bar in 2019 – EFCC

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The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu yesterday said the Commission is ready to throw more corrupt people behind ba in 2019.

He said the anti-graft agency has secured three convictions barely a few days in the New Year.

He, however, said the EFCC will redouble its efforts to bring more corrupt suspects to justice.

Magu made the disclosures while addressing officers during a working tour to the Lagos office of the commission.

A statement by the Acting Head of Media and Publicity of the commission, Mr. Tony Orilade quoted Magu as pledging to work within the ambit of the law.

Magu said: “The EFCC has already secured three convictions in 2019, which is a good start.

“With 312 convictions in 2018, we are strategizing to redouble our effort in 2019, as part of our concerted efforts aimed at ensuring that the negative narrative of pervasive corruption in the system is changed for the better, and the perception that some persons are above the law, remains altered.

“The Commission shall continue to rid the country of economic and financial crimes and effectively coordinate the domestic efforts of the global fight against money laundering and terrorism financing.

He said the “EFCC remains committed to carrying out its duties in conformity to best international practice within the ambit of the Law”.

While commending the exemplary leadership of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen, for the success recorded in the past year, he stressed that the Judiciary is key to winning the corruption fight.

He said: “Let us have it at the back of our minds that we are only prosecutors; without the support of the Judiciary, led by the CJN and other Heads of Court across jurisdictions, we could not have been able to achieve the much we did in 2018.

“Therefore, to be able to double that feat in 2019, let us know that we cannot do without the judiciary.”

He called for unalloyed collaboration of other stakeholders, and urged Nigerians to be “more dedicated and determined in reducing corruption to the barest minimum”.

“Those who stole our commonwealth should know that there is no hiding place for them. A high tension searchlight is being beamed on them, it is in their interest to surrender because the game is up”, he added.

Meanwhile, the EFCC said it has already secured three convictions in 2019.

The statement disclosed that Justice D. Z. Senchi of the FCT High Court, Apo, on January 2, 2019, convicted Augustine James and Cyrinus Valentine Richard and sentenced them to 14 years in jail without an option of fine.

They were prosecuted on a six-count amended charge of conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretences and forgery.

Justice Senchi also convicted Edwin Ogbomwan (aka Thomas Jerry Stars) who was prosecuted by the Advance Fee Fraud Unit of the Commission. He was convicted for Internet-related fraud and sentenced to two months imprisonment with an option of fine of N1, 000,000 (One Million Naira) only.

The convict is also to forfeit his Toyota Camry 2006 model and iPhone X to the Federal Government. EFCC secures three fresh convictions, Magu pledges more trials.

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