Asian Countries Are Frustrating Nigeria’s War Against Corruption – Magu
BEVERLY HILLS, February 24, (THEWILL) – The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has stated that some Asian countries, particularly China, are frustrating the efforts by Nigeria to fight the scourge of corruption.
Acting Chairman of the Commission, Mr. Ibrahim Magu stated this on Tuesday in Abuja when the Association of Chief Audit Executives of Banks in Nigeria paid the commission a courtesy visit.
He made this assertion after the representative of First Bank, Mr. Nelson Uduak lamented that Japan and China were not helping Nigeria in the area of anti-fraud cases.
According to Uduak, “Some countries appear very difficult to operate in. There are some countries in which our banks have lost money. There are some fraudsters which we are able to trace but once the money gets to certain countries like Japan or China, you find out that there is no cooperation.
“If it is the United States, you can be sure to a large extent, that once you can identify the person (suspect), you will get cooperation; but there is no such cooperation in the Asian countries. We don't know how you can help us.”
In his response, Magu agreed that China had not been helpful in the anti-graft war, lamenting that “The cooperation from the Chinese end has been very minimal, it is not encouraging. There is more collaboration from the US, the United Kingdom and Switzerland essentially through INTERPOL or government to government.”
Magu revealed that the EFCC was tracing a $2bn fund belonging to First Bank, which was transferred to London, but did not expatiate on the effort.
While calling on bankers to assist in the fight against corruption as the commission could not do it alone, he said: “You are auditors while we are investigators; so, in a way, we are doing the same thing. We need to synergise, work together. We are all stakeholders and we are in a war. We also ask for your support.”
Also speaking, the representative of Heritage Bank, Mr. Manny Ugbomah, urged the commission to give its personnel the permission to travel out of the country with bank representatives whenever they were carrying out trans-border investigations.