Posted by ECONOMIC and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on
ECONOMIC and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) boss, Alhaji Nuhu Ribadu, says the commission has not been able to link former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida, to any foreign bank account or properties anywhere in the world.
"We have not been able to link Babangida to any foreign bank account or properties anywhere in the world up to this point'' - NUHU RIBADU, EFCC boss
JOHANNESBURG - ECONOMIC and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) boss, Alhaji Nuhu Ribadu, says the commission has not been able to link former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida, to any foreign bank account or properties anywhere in the world.
He said he (Babangida) would be brought to justice if linked with stolen public funds as part of efforts to stem corruption in the country.
"We have not been able to link Babangida to any foreign bank account or properties anywhere in the world up to this point,'' Ribadu told the annual business conference of the Patriots Club of Nigeria International held in Johannesburg last Thursday.
The conference was convened by the club to highlight efforts by the Obasanjo-led government in addressing financial crimes and corruption which had discouraged foreign investments into Nigeria. Nigeria's recent low rating by Transparency International discourages potential investors from South Africa, worsened by the activities of some Nigerians allegedly involved in the advance fee fraud scam and hard drug trafficking in the country.
"Nigeria is no longer a safe haven for drug-dealers and 419ners," he said, explaining that erstwhile untouchable persons in Nigeria were languishing in detention facilities for various finance-related crimes. Ribadu emphasised that the EFCC would seek to establish a relationship with the Scorpions Unit, a similar outfit set up by the South African government to deal with white-collar crimes on exposing crimes allegedly committed by Nigerian criminals in South Africa.
He blamed the corruption situation in Nigeria on the many years of military misrule, explaining that "corruption was legitimised during those years'' and it had become a way of life in government ever since.
Also speaking, Dr. Tunji Olagunju, Nigerian High Commissioner to South Africa, said both countries needed to harmonise efforts in combating cross-border crimes involving nationals of both countries. According to him, several investment opportunities had eluded Nigeria due to its perception as one of the most corrupt nations in the world.
The Patriots' Club President, Mr. Kenneth Ayere, had told the gathering that the Nigerians allegedly involved in financial fraud and drug trafficking were criminals in themselves and not because they are Nigerians. He cited the various contributions of Nigerians to the economic development of South Africa and the achievements of other Nigerians in various parts of the world and explained that the Nigerian government had demonstrated its resolve to tackle finance-related offences occasioning stealing and misuse of public fund by setting up the EFCC, following incidences of widespread corruption in the various levels of government and public institutions in Nigeria.
The Patriots Club was set up by South African-based Nigerian professionals in 1998, to address Nigeria's image problems and initiate efforts to build a bridge of understanding between Nigerians and South Africa.