The Role Of Anti-Financial Crime Commission In Fighting Financial Crimes In Nigeria (A Case Study Of EFCC And ICPC)
This article examines how an anti-graft body: The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has fared in reducing the incidence of corruption in Nigeria, in particular, bank fraud., internet scam and governance. It first discuses the corruption situation in Nigeria by highlighting public office holders who have been associated with corruption charges. Descriptive and chi-square analysis are used, and results reveal that the performance of the EFCC has been affected by government interference (p<.o05).
However, although the anti-graft body has not been able to reduce the incidence of bank fraud (P>.05) bad governance and advance fee fraud have recorded appreciable reduction (p<.05). areas of success as well as challenges that need to be addressed are identified. Specifically, it is recommended tat the bill that established EFCC should be amended to reduce government interference and improve its manpower development especially in the areas of fraud and internet scam detection.
This research has fared in reducing the incidence of corruption in Nigeria, in particular internet scam, bank fraud and bad governance. It first discuses the corruption situation in Nigeria by highlighting public office holders who have been associated with corruption charges. This was demonstrated by the establishment of two major anti-graft institution, the independent corrupt practices commission (ICPC) and the economic and financial crime commission.
This development in turn facilitate stiff completion, ineffective internal control system, weak corporate governance, malpractice, among others, thus further providing easy avenue for money laundering and other financial crimes, to use the financial system to achieve their various objectives. The government through its financial arrow head, the CBN increased its tempo against the fight of financial crimes. It does this by putting in place a series of anti-money laundering and combating financing of terrorism measures to plug loopholes so as to ensure the continued safety and soundness of the financial system and determine all forms of financial crimes in Nigeria.
1.1 Background Of The Study
In Nigeria, the upsurge in financial crimes could be party attributed to the liberalization of the financial sector in the late 1980’s, which the resulted in a phenomenal leap in the number and complexities of banks and non bank financial institutions.
This development in turn facilitates stiff competition, ineffective internal control system, Weak Corporation, governance, malpractice, among others, this further providing easy avenue for money laundering and other financial crimes, to use the financial system to achieve their various objectives. On the enthronement of democracy in Nigeria by may 29, 1999, under the leadership of president Olusegun Obasanjo, one cardinal programme of the Obasanjo administration is the fight against corruption and waste in the public service. This he demonstrated is the establishment of two major anti-graft institutions, the independent corrupt practices and other related offences) commission (ICPC) and the economic and financial crime commission (EFCC) in the year 2000 and 2003 respectively. The government through its financial arrow head, the CBN increased its tempo against the fight of financial crimes.
This it does by putting in place a series of anti-money laundering (AML) and combating financing of terrorism (CFT) measures to plug loopholes so as to ensure the continued safety and soundness of the financial system and determine all forms of financial crimes in Nigeria. (Adigun, 2005). The government target is zero tolerance for financial crimes and corruption. This is why it has pursued through promulgation of laws against graft such as independent commission practices (and other related offences) commission (ICVPC) Act, economic and financial crime commission (EFCC) Act, money laundering (prohibition) Act, 2004.
It has strengthened and keeps strengthening of anti- corruption and other economic crimes, institutions of due process mechanism in public sector procurement; Privatilization of failing public institution an creating and enabling environment for effective private, public sector partnerships, monthly publication of distributable revenue from federation account to the different tiers of government, institution fo transparencies in the oil and gas sector through the work of the extractive industries transparency initiatives (NEITI) among others.
1.2 Statement Of The Problem
- Despite the struggle and move against financial crimes in Nigeria, there is still high incidence of financial crimes in the financial system.
- The anti-financial crime commission seems to be a political weapon against political opponents; hence a change
- in such government weakens the strength of the commission.
- There are individual who seems to be “untouchable” by the financial crime commission as a result of their political strength or affiliation with the chief boss in government.
- There is weak approach in tackling crime justly and fairly by the commission.
1.3 Purpose Of The Study
The purpose of this study is to look into the activities of the financial crime commission in Nigeria with respect to political affiliation. It is also aimed at investigation the extent of success made so far by the EFCC and ICPC in their fight against corruption and financial crimes.
1.4 Significance Of The Study
- To help disclose the national for the birth of EFCC and ICPC in Nigeria.
- To be of importance to future researchers as a references guide to their work.
- To be relevant to the researcher because it is a necessary condition for her receiving the award of Higher National Diploma (HND) in the Banking and Finance.
- To be of relevance to any reader as it will help show the functions, objectives and relationship between EFCC and ICPC.
- To help look at the root cause of financial crimes in Nigeria and ways to fight it.
1.5 Scope Of The Study
The scope of this research work will be limited only to Nigeria that is the project work will not be extended to other countries of the world.
1.6 Limitation Of The Study
This study if limited by:
- Financial constraints on the part of the researcher to visit EFCC and ICPC office severally as required.
- Unwillingness of EFCC and ICPC officers to develop data of their prosecution.
- The restrictions at their respective officers from having interview with the necessary officers.
- The time allocated for this project and length of time required to be visiting the EFCC and ICPC officers are inversely related.
1.7 Assumption Of The Study
The following assumptions are made:
- The EFCC and ICPC has played a vital role in reducing corrupt practices and financial, crime in Nigeria.
- The banking sector has derived benefits as a result of the presence of EFCC and ICPC.
1.8 Definition Of Terms
This is the process lf fighting f financial crimes.
Cyber Café Crimes:
These are crimes committed through the internet
This is an anti-graft institution established to fight against financial crimes in Nigeria
These are financial crimes committed electronically.
This is also an anti-graft institution vested to minimize the level of corrupt practices in Nigeria.
An integration of the proceeds of illegal activities into the financial or banking sector.
5.0 Summary, Conclusion And Recommendations
Financial crimes originated in Nigeria mainly because of economic backwardness. As a result corruption and crime intensify and increase. A lot of measures have been adopted by government after government to abate these crimes; but all to no avail. By the enthronement of democracy in 1999, the government then pledged to take it as its priority to fight against crime and corruption. This precipitated the birth of EFCC and ICPC. In this research, it was found that:
- The EFCC and ICPC have really reduced crime in Nigeria.
- A lot of success has been achieved by these two bodies in fighting crimes.
- In the discharge of their duties, they have respect for the rule of law.
- The EFCC and ICPC are not political weapons against political opponents.
- The presence of these anti-graft agencies deters crimes and corruption in Nigeria.
- Financial crimes have really been reduced in Nigeria.
The fight against rime in Nigeria has been a colossal fight. Government after government, this fight continued. The most important fight against financial crime in Nigeria is the one initiated by the 1999-200788 democratic government led by the then president Oluseguin Obasanjo. The fight become effective due to the enabling environment provided by democracy ad the support by Nigeria. Today there is relative sanity and confidence in the Nigeria economy as a result of successful fight against crimes and corruption.
Based on the detailed research carried out, the following recommendations are made:
- There is need for strengthening international co-operation on information exchange and law enforcement.
- We need proper mechanisms for handling all suspicious reports.
- There is need for compliance culture among the financial intermediaries in helping to abate crimes.
- Public awareness in the evils of money laundering is required.
- There is need for increased co-ordination between the multiple agencies (natural and international) invoked and to improve the limited intelligence sharing.
5.4 Areas For Further Studies
Student researchers wising tri carry out research in this respect should consider the following topics relevant:
- The impact if anti0rgaft agencies in crime reduction in Nigeria.
- The international perspective of Nigeria image on corruption between 1999 and 2007.
- The role of EFCC and ICPC in Nigeria; appraisal of foreign in vestment in Nigeria.
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