Says false alarm had led commission to dead ends, waste of scarce resources
Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa, yesterday threatened to arrest and prosecute false whistleblowers, whose intention was to mislead the commission.
He said several false leads had led the commission to dead ends and the concomitant wastage of scarce resources.
A statement issued by the commission said the chairman expressed concern about the activities of supposed whistleblowers who mislead the agency through false information.
It said “despite due diligence by the EFCC, scarce investigative resources have been wasted by the agency in following up false leads that frequently comes to a dead end.
“Activities of false whistle blowers detract from the noble intendment of the whistleblower policy of the federal government which seeks to incentivise information leading to the recovery of stolen wealth.”
The statement affirmed that “while the whistleblower policy was not designed as a tool for unscrupulous citizens to send law enforcement agencies on wild goose chase or set them against their perceived enemies, the EFCC will not hesitate to prosecute any whistleblower who willfully provides the agency with false information.”
Bawa reiterated the commission’s preparedness to work with genuine whistleblowers and acknowledged the breakthroughs which the EFCC recorded in its assets recovery drive, using information supplied by whistleblowers.
He advised genuine informants to be cautious and ensure that they had accurate information before engaging with the agency.
The chairman assured that the directorate of intelligence which was recently created would henceforth ensure that all information received by the EFCC was subjected to rigorous due diligence before action is taken.
Meanwhile, two weeks after he addressed staff at the headquarters and zonal office in Abuja, the chairman yesterday visited the Kaduna zonal office where he admonished the personnel to demonstrate greater sense of commitment and dedication in the discharge of their duties.
A separate statement by the commission said the EFCC boss stressed that discipline, commitment and dedication were critical to the success of any organisation.
“I implore you to be disciplined in all ramifications that have to do with your various official duties as staff of this commission,” he said.
He reminded the staff of the need to renew their commitment and accept obligations imposed on them as officers who were specially trained to fight economic and financial crimes in Nigeria, stressing that they “should endeavour not to disappoint Nigerians in the fight against economic and finance crimes, including Corruption.”
Bawa further stated that EFCC would work assiduously to achieve its mandate.
He assured the staff that their welfare would be addressed and promised to tackle some of the challenges being experienced by the zonal office.