We had another Tweetmeet with EFCC! On the 23rd of May 2019, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) participated in a Q&A session on our Anti-Corruption, Financial Crimes and Accountability themed TweetMeet.
This was an opportunity for the EFCC to shed more light to the Nigerian citizens on the commission’s continuous fight against anti-corruption and financial crimes. The platform itself creates an avenue for the public to hold a public institution such as the EFCC accountable for their actions.
At about 12pm that day, the event commenced. Tap Nitiative being the facilitators of the event set out ground rules through its twitter account (@tapnitiative) to ensure a smooth course. Questions were then posted to the commission via their official twitter account (@officialEFCC) following the hashtag #TrackNigeria.
Questions asked included; EFCC’s stance on the probing of the Emir of Kano by the Kano State government, the investigation of Senate President Bukola Saraki, the launch and workings of EFCC’s innovative software that detects stolen funds, vote buying during the 2019 general elections and the arrest of two prominent Nigeria musicians.
A key theme the commission reiterated throughout the event was that the commission does not investigate individuals with personal motives nor does it carry out witch hunts. In relation to the investigation on the Senate President the commission stated that the “EFCC does not probe or investigate innocent people who don’t have corruption cases’’.
The commission made it clear that as a matter of principle, they are not allowed to discuss any stage of any investigation they are involved in. Being a law enforcement agency that abides by international standards, its operative are covert. Albeit this, they did provide some information on the status of some cases. So far in the matter labelled against Diezani Alison Madueke and Late Alex Badeh the court has ordered their properties and monies forfeited to the Federal Government and in the case of Sambo Dasuki is absence has allegedly delayed his own case.
In regards to the issue of vote buying during the 2019 general elections, the commission admits that the matter is still under investigation, though some alleged perpetrators are already in court. For example, Councillor of Bolari East, Gombe, Ishiyaku Garba, is the first to be convicted for vote buying. The sum of N295, 000 recovered from him has been forfeited to the Federal Government.
EFCC also used the opportunity to present the launch of the new stolen funds detection software in partnership with INTERPOL. The application is aimed at enhancing intelligence sharing in the tracking of organised crime such as; money laundering and terrorism-financing. It comprises a database to be supervised by the National Central Bureau.
The part of the event that garnered the most interaction from twitter followers was in regards to the arrest of two Nigerian music artists, Azeez ‘Naira Marley’ Fashola and Omoniyi ‘Zlatan’ Temidayo (as well as a few others) for the offence of internet fraud and money laundering. The commission relates that Zlatan and the three others have already been released from detention on administrative bail. However, Naira Marley is being prosecuted in court based on investigations which linked him to credit card fraud and internet fraud. This section evoked mixed reactions from the twitter public following the Tweet meet. Some hailing the commission for a job well done while others criticizing the ‘unprofessional’ approach taken by the commission in the handling of the case.
As the event came to a conclusion, the commission used the medium to remind the general public that the war against corruption is our collective responsibility and not just the commission’s alone.
TapNitiative remains committed to creating platforms for conversations like this in the Nigerian diaspora. A chance for Nigerians to hold their leaders accountable and promulgate transparency in the governance of the country. Please continue be on the lookout for more of these events!