By Kingsley Nwezeh
Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa, said yesterday that the commission arrested more than 400 young Nigerians for internet related fraud in the first three months of 2021.
A statement by the commission said Bawa made the disclosure while receiving a delegation from the University of Abuja led by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Abdulrasheed Na ‘Allah, in his office.
According to the EFCC Chair, “from January 2021 to date, we have arrested more than 400 Nigerians suspected to be involved in various cybercrime or advanced fee fraud-related offences and that is to tell you how huge the problem is.
“Less than 48 hours ago, we arrested 18 individuals in Abuja”, he said.
He said among those arrested were students of tertiary institutions.
While bemoaning the impact of cybercrime on the image of the country, Bawa advocated the reorientation of the younger generation, adding that the university had a crucial role to play in realising the objective.
He expressed optimism that there would be more collaboration between the EFCC and University of Abuja in the areas of sensitisation and deterrence to mitigate youth involvement in financial crimes.
The EFCC boss, however, commended the long standing relationship between the EFCC and the University of Abuja, particularly the affiliation of the EFCC Academy to run specialised postgraduate programmes in forensics.
“It is our desire that our officers are up to date as you are aware that crime is changing and evolving and the world has turned digital. “Everything is on the internet and there is the need to know new trends coming up and we hope that the collaboration through the establishment of different programmes will yield results in combating corruption”, he said.
He further assured that the EFCC would do everything possible, including upgrading the facilities at the EFCC Academy to ensure the success of the programmes.
“We are looking forward to having e-classes where training can be held online without necessarily being physically present considering the present circumstance of the world”, he said.
In his remarks, the Vice Chancellor of University of Abuja, Na’Allah, commended him for his dedication towards overcoming the scourge of corruption.
“This moment is very significant because it is not for any reason that you have been selected. You fit the challenge this nation is facing.
“All aspects of our nation including economic, security, social political, see the job of the EFCC as an area everyone ought to support and that is why we stand by the commission,” he said.
The vice chancellor expressed his delight at the collaboration between EFCC and the University in the area of forensic science, noting that the partnership is one whose time has come.
“This is a collaboration that should have been done a long time ago; we cannot move forward except our manpower is trained to be the best and we hope to have exceptionally talented staff”, he said.