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Corruption: EFCC to beam searchlights on banks

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Corruption: EFCC to beam searchlights on banks
Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, has advised the federal government to explore the use of relevant technology for revenue collection by its agencies, so as to prevent the diversion of public funds into private pockets.

This was even as he charged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC and other anti-corruption agencies to henceforth monitor the operations of commercial banks in the country with a view to checkmating their alleged illegal activities.

Speaking during his investiture and induction as Patron by the Chatered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Professionals of Nigeria, CIFIPN, Lawan restated the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration towards the fight against corruption.

He explained that the deployment of technology would prevent, detect, as well as assist in the investigation of fraudulent practices.

According to the Senate President, “the anti-corruption framework can enhance the prosecution and sanctioning process.

“We have emphasized prevention as a good route to reducing corruption, given the tendency of individuals to exploit weaknesses in systems.

“People are more likely to take advantage of loopholes than they can create it. Technologies are additionally expected to reduce loopholes, because of their sophistication, the skills required, and for the fact that they are structured.

“Effective usage also requires time to establish. Using technologies therefore limits, or prevents the chances of infractions, and eventually saves prosecutorial time and resources.”

He noted that while many countries have reduced corruption through science and technology, the National Assembly recently unearthed discrepancies which showed that many revenue generating agencies of government fail to remit all revenues collected to the appropriate accounts of government.

He added the anti-corruption agencies should look into the direction of banks in checkmating practices such as diversion of funds and operation of accounts for players in the public sectors without approval of the Accountant General of the Federation, AGF.

“The malaise of corruption is deep seated in the country and must be tackled holistically, the reason why the anti-graft agencies should not limit their focus to government owned establishment alone but also private organisations.

“In particular, are commercial banks , whose operations must be monitored in preventing monies diversions within the system and multiple accounts openings and operations by them for people largely from the public sector,” he said.

Earlier, Proterm President of the CIFIPN, Dr. Ayeshetu Victoria Enape, said that the forensic and investigative profession involves practitioners made up of people of diverse academic backgrounds cutting across law, criminology, cyber security, police detectives, economists, and finance specialists.

According to her, the procedures deployed by the professional body in investigations “involves the skillful deployment of science and technological tools to prevent, detect, or resolve or expose possible criminal activity emanating from economic transactions.”

She added that, “the emergence of forensic and investigative profession on the global scene was based on the realization that fraudsters have gone sophisticated and in some instances are taking advantage of the 21st digital revolution to perpetrate corrupt practices that are undetectable by conventional investigative approach.”

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