THE federal government has inaugurated the 23-member board of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC),  a statement by the anti-graft organisation on Thursday announced.

Bawa, EFCC Chairman

EFCC’s spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, who signed the statement, said the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, performed the inauguration on behalf of the federal government in Abuja on Thursday.

The Senate had in October last year confirmed the appointment of the board members who are to serve a-five-year tenure.

Apart from the chairman of the Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, the rest of the newly inaugurated board members are: George Ekpungu, Secretary to the Commission, Luqman Mohammed, Anumba Adaeze, Kola Adeshina and Yahaya Mohammed. Others are representatives of law enforcement, security and regulatory agencies.

Mr Mustapha congratulated members on their appointment which he said was a demonstration of the confidence of President Buhari in their integrity, intellectual abilities and competence to contribute to the mandate of the commission.

He called on them to generate effective policies that boost the Buhari administration’s fight against corruption.

“You are, however, required to put in your best to combat financial and economic crimes in the country. The commission is empowered to prevent, investigate, prosecute and penalise economic and financial crimes and is charged with the responsibility of enforcing the provisions of other laws and regulations relating to economic and financial crimes, as well as fight terrorism.

“I therefore, expect that all hands will be on deck to generate robust policy initiatives that will help this administration achieve its fight against corruption and revamp the economy. Similarly, in carrying out your responsibility as Board Members, you must also eschew corruption totally as Government will not hesitate to sanction all infractions,” he said.

The SGF, who said he does not envy the board members in view of the fact that corruption is the greatest malaise hurting the country’s development, however, urged them not to meddle in the day-to-day affairs of the EFCC, adding that the duties of the board are limited to giving policy direction to the management and not being involved in the day-to-day running of the agency.

The SGF explained that the day-to-day running of the commission, like other agencies of government with governing boards, is the exclusive duty of the management.

“Let me reiterate the fact that governing boards are creations of the enabling statutes of the various institutions, with the main responsibility for giving policy direction to management, in order to contribute towards the developmental goals of government.

“This presupposes that the Management should be allowed to execute its day-to-day activities without undue interference by the Boards,” he said.

In his vote of thanks, the chairman of the new board and executive chairman of the EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa, expressed delight that the commission now has a board having operated for six years without one. He described the EFCC board as one with representatives of many law enforcement and security organisations.

Mr Bawa disclosed that the commission recorded 2,220 convictions last year, the highest since its inception and equally set a new record in terms of asset recovery. He said the inauguration of the new board and the experience of members, place the commission in good stead to better its 2021 performance.

He assured that the board will not disappoint in terms of the confidence reposed in it and appealed to the SGF to help convey their appreciation to Mr President for head-hunting them to lead the charge against economic and financial crimes.

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