Abdulrasheed Bawa, the Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, revealed that over 400 young Nigerians were apprehended by the Commission for cybercrimes in the first three months of the year.
He made the disclosure in his office while receiving a delegation from the University of Abuja led by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Abdulrasheed Na ‘Allah.
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.” He added that “less than 48 hours ago we arrested 18 individuals in Abuja”. Among those arrested, he said, are 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 has a crucial role to play in actualizing this. He expressed optimism that there would be more collaboration between the EFCC and the University of Abuja in the areas of sensitization 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 specialized 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 will do everything possible, including upgrading the facilities at the EFCC Academy, to ensure the success of the programmes. In his words, “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”.
In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Abuja, Professor Abdulrasheed Na’Allah commended the Executive Chairman for his dedication to 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.
While expressing his delight at the collaboration between EFCC and the University in the area of Forensic Science, Prof. Na ‘Allah noted 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”
On the Vice Chancellor’s entourage were the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics), Professor Innocent Clement; Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), Professor Abubakar Sadiq Abba; Dean Student Affairs, Dr Abubakar Umar; Rector, Centre for Security and Legal Studies, Professor Arinze Agbo; Director, Developmental Services, Professor Augustine Bassey and Professor Mohammed Gambari.