War Against Corruption: EFCC Gets Support From French Govt

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The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Lamorde, has said that the war against corruption will be fought with relentless vigour with a view to improving Nigeria ’s image before the international community.

Lamorde made the declaration on Thursday, January 22, 2015, while receiving a delegation from the French Embassy in Nigeria led by the Police Attache, Mr. Eric Bonnichon.

Lamorde, who acknowledged the growing relationship between the EFCC and the French Police, said that the visit was a proof of the confidence that the French authority have in the Commission.

He described the visit as another milestone in the relationship between the Commission and its partners from the European Union, saying that ‘‘this is the second set of foreign visit we have had within this week. The first one was with the British, and we are expanding.”

While expressing gratitude to the delegation who made a donation of eight laptops to the Commission, the EFCC boss said that the gesture would further boost the efforts of the Commission to stamp out corruption in Nigeria.

Lamorde who expressed delight on the growing collaboration between the agency and the French Government warned that the EFCC would not leave any stone unturned in bringing corrupt elements in Nigeria to justice. “If anyone commits any economic or financial crime in this country and runs to France and thinks France will give him protection from the law.

We will ensure that he/she is brought to book. In the same vein, if someone commits a crime in France and comes to Nigeria, we are always here to liaise with the French authorities and ensure that such a person is brought to book by way of investigation, prosecution or even extradition to France”, he added.

Speaking on the investigation of alleged corrupt public officials, the anti-graft boss said that investigation was ongoing and assured that the public would be kept informed as soon as investigation was concluded and the case was ready for prosecution. “A lot of people are being targeted, but most investigations are at the preliminary stage; so, we may not be able to provide the details now because it may jeopardise our investigation.

“I assure Nigerians that the fight against corruption is going on with full vigour. It takes time for cases to be fully and diligently investigated and taken to court and then made public”, said Lamorde.

Speaking earlier, the leader of the delegation, Eric, said though the laptops were not enough, it was an indication of the improvement in the cooperation between the EFCC and the French government.

Eric, who spoke through Balima Roger of the Police Liaison Office, French Embassy, stated that ‘‘We hope that in the future, we will be able to reinforce our cooperation. I want to seize this opportunity to say that anybody who commits any economic crime in France and comes to Nigeria or vice-versa will be prosecuted.”

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