EFCC Agency seeks stiffer penalties for money launderers

The Chairman of the agency said that the enforcement and compliance of the current money laundering Act in Nigeria needs to be reviewed.

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Ibrahim Magu play

EFCC boss, Ibrahim Magu

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Mr Ibrahim Magu, the Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Wednesday called for severe punishment for money launderers and other financial crime offenders to curb corruption.

Magu made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of a seminar organised by the Faculty of Management Science, Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, in Lagos.

The seminar is entitled: “Money Laundering and its Impact on the Nigerian Economy: The Way Forward.’’

He said that though the enforcement and compliance of the current money laundering Act in Nigeria was one of the best in Africa, the punishment needed to be reviewed.

“The current Nigeria Money Laundering Act is good, but the aspect of punishment needs to be reviewed to be more severe.

“The punishment prescribes about seven years ‎imprisonment,’’ he said.

The anti-graft chief said that the menace had eaten deep into all institutions in the country.

He said that 60 per cent of corruption cases in the country border on money laundering.

Magu urged various institutions in the country to partner with the anti-graft agency in its fight against corruption, describing it as “a crime against humanity’’.

The chairman said that the “Change Mantra” of the present administration could only be achieved through the cooperation of all institutions and individuals in the system.

“If the state governors can utilise 50 per cent of their allocation properly, there will be tremendous change and transformation in the Nigeria economy,’’ he said.

Magu, however, used the occasion to highlight the achievements of the commission in the last 12 months he assumed headship of the agency.

He said, “There is more commitment from officials of the commission because of the current political will that gives them freedom to perform their duty unrestricted.’’

In his remarks, Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun, the Vice-Chancellor of LASU, lauded EFCC for its good work and the successes so far recorded in spite of the obstacles hindering ‎its efforts.

Fagbohun said that corruption should be addressed in every institution, adding, “the world is looking for governance that can add value in true sense’’.

He urged Nigerians and established institutions to start doing things rightly, if they truly desire change.

Fagbohun said that the judiciary should be responsive to correcting errors in the society.

“Regrettably, where the court and legislature fail in their duty, the media is the only arm helping the masses,’’ he said.

Fagbohun advised the media to fill the gap, where the legal and political constitutionalism had failed.

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