The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has urged residents of the state to see the ongoing anti-corruption crusade in the country as a collective fight.
Mr Friday Ebelo, the Zonal Head, Ibadan Zonal Office made the call on Thursday in Ibadan during a `Road Walk’ to commemorate the annual African Anti-Corruption Day.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that African Anti-Corruption Day was declared by the African Union which comprises 55 countries and it is celebrated every July 11.
The theme of the 2019 African Anti-Corruption Day is “Towards a Common African Position on Assets Recovery’’.
NAN reports that EFCC officials led by Ebelo and other collaborating organisations converged at EFCC office, and walked through Iyaganku quarters, G-Allen to Dugbe, sensitising residents on the dangers of corruption.
“Nigeria is our country and to make it corruption-free is a collective agenda. What we are doing today is to sensitise our people and bring them on board in the fight against corruption,’’ he said.
Ebelo said that President Muhammadu Buhari and the EFCC acting chairman, Ibrahim Magu had been at the forefront driving issues toward recovering the nation’s assets tied overseas.
He urged Nigerians and civil societies to join the assets recovery crusade, saying such would boost the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and create enormous jobs needed to engage the nation’s teeming youths.
Ebelo said that the assets to be recovered were money, artifacts and other assets of national heritage,
“This to us, will serve as deterrent. With this concept, we hope to repatriate some of our assets taken to countries out of our jurisdiction if not all.
“It is our belief that concerted efforts from all of us will help us a lot. We believe that the comity of nations would one day see reason to do the right thing on this,’’ he said.
He said that the commission had commenced tracing of assets beyond the shores of the country to ensure their repatriation.
“In the study of money laundering related matters, when the elephant is taken away from a person, virtually everything has been taken away.
“The concept of jailing a person is a minimal punishment. If 80 percent of such person’s assets could be recovered, then you have emptied the person,’’ he said.