EFCC Secures 3,175 Convictions, Recovers N156 Billion Arraigns Currency Racketeers.

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The Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, Mr. Ola Olukoyede,  has disclosed that the Commission  secured  3175 convictions and recovered  N156, 276,691,242.30 (One Hundred and Fifty-six Billion, Two Hundred and Seventy-Six Million, Six Hundred and Ninety-One Thousand, Two Hundred and Forty-Two Naira, Thirty kobo) between May 29, 2023 and May 29,  2024 when President Bola Ahmed Tinubu assumed office.

 He stated this  in Abuja on Wednesday, May 29, 2024 at the launch of Zero Tolerance Club in University Abuja, Gwagwalada, Abuja.

Olukoyede, who spoke through the Secretary to the Commission, Mohammed Hammajoda said the EFCC  also recovered  $43,835,214.24,  £25,365.00,  €186,947.10, ₹51,360.00, C$3,750.00 , A$740.00,  ¥74,754.00, R35,000.00, 42,390.00 UAE Dirhams, 247.00 Riyals and 21,580, 867631 Crypto Currency.

Speaking further, the Chairman stated that, though the EFCC put up impressive performance within the year, involvement of youths in internet fraud continued to pose serious concerns to every stakeholder in the anti-graft war.

“In spite of this commendable performance, the Commission is deeply worried about the increasing involvement of young people, including students, in cybercrime, popularly called yahoo yahoo.  Hundreds of suspects are arrested monthly, with many of them ending up in jail”, he said.

 He called on students of the University to stay away from internet fraud, stressing that conviction for fraud “ is a burden that will leave a life-long scar on the fortunes of these youths”.  He further stated that there was no justification for cybercrime anywhere.

“There is no justification that will make yahoo yahoo acceptable. Contrary to the impression in some quarters, being a fraudster is not synonymous with creativity or being smart.. As students,   you are expected to channel your creative energies into useful engagements and not get entangled in cheating others of their resources,” he said.

Also speaking,  Director of Public Affairs Department of the Commission, DCE Wilson Uwujaren said the Commission was at the University not only to inaugurate Zero Tolerance Club, but also to mobilise youths against the ills of corruption.  “The blessings that God has given Nigeria has not really translated into wealth for all of us. And for some of us who are a little bit older, we have cause to express worry about the future of our children and the future of our youths.  This is why the EFCC is here today not only to launch a Zero Tolerance Club for you, but to also sensitize you on why it is important for you to embrace the fight against corruption,” he said.  The Club, he further explained,  “is a platform of continuous conversation on why our nation has to fight and win the war against corruption”.

In his welcome address, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Abuja, Professor Abdulrasheed Na’Allah charged the youths to be productive and avoid doing anything that would destroy the good name or image of their families. He further tasked them to be productive like their counterparts in the developed nations where talents  are used for creativity and innovation rather than indulging in internet fraud.  He commended Olukoyede and management of the Commission for finding the University of Abuja worthy for a Zero Tolerance Club.

In his presentation on the ills of cybercrime,  Assistant Commander of the EFCC,  ACEII David Ife advised youths to channel their energy towards productive and beneficial purposes for themselves and the nation at large, pointing out that criminality offered no gain to anyone.

 Head,  Enlightenment and Reorientation Unit of the Commission, ACE11 Aisha Mohammed said the essence of the launch of the club in Universities was to develop, nurture and empower future leaders to be proactive and  be “Ambassadors of the Commission through education and by guiding them to propagate the core-values  of anti-corruption in their family, neighbourhood, schools, communities, societies and the country at large”.

Meanwhile, Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Wednesday, May 29, 2024, convicted and sentenced one Adeyinka Bilikis  Gbadamosi  to six months imprisonment for currency racketeering.

Gbadamosi  was arraigned  on a one-count charge bordering on currency  Racketeering.

The count reads: “That you, Adeyinka Bilikis Gbadamosi, on the 27th of April, 2024 in  Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, engaged in hawking the total sum of N897,900 (Eight Hundred and Ninety Seven Thousand, Nine Hundred Naira) in N200 Naira note denomination, with serial numbers 688101 and N500 Naira note denomination, with serial numbers 315501 issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 21(4) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (Establishment) Act, 2007.”

She pleaded “guilty” to the charge when it was read to her

Counsel to the convict A.A. Olawipo, prayed the court for a non-custodial sentence or option of fine .

Justice Aneke  sentenced the convict to six months imprisonment, with an option of fine of N50,000 ( Fifty Thousand Naira Only ).

The Judge also ordered that the N897,900 recovered from her be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Also, the Enugu Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on Wednesday, May 29, 2024 arraigned one Nwachukwu Ifeanyi, before Justice Mohammed Garba Umar of the Federal High Court sitting in Independence Layout, Enugu State.

Ifeanyi was arraigned on a two-count charge bordering on currency racketeering and operating a bureau de change business without an appropriate licence.

Count two of the charge reads: “That you, Nwachukwu Ifeanyi, sometime in February 2024, at Douglas Road, Owerri, imo State, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court of Nigeria, hawked the total sum of Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N500, 000. 00) mints in Five Hundred Naira (500) denominations, issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 21 (4) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007 and punishable under Section 21 (1) of the same Act”.

He pleaded “not guilty” when the charges were read to him. In view of his plea, Christiana Chioma Igwe, counsel to the EFCC prayed the court for a trial date and for the defendant to be remanded at Enugu State Correctional facility.

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