The chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Lamorde, on Wednesday said the Commission is working towards improving its conviction record in 2014.
Lamorde stated this while receiving the Director, West and Southern Africa, Department for International Development, DFID, Susanna Moorehead who paid a courtesy visit to the Commission in Abuja.
Lamorde said though the EFCC secured 117 convictions in 2013, the Commission will not rest on its laurel as it hopes to secure more convictions in economic and financial crimes cases in 2014.
However, the chairman lamented that the non passage of the civil forfeiture bill has hampered the process of assets forfeiture.
“We are still grappling with conviction based forfeiture. There is a bill on non-conviction based but it is yet to be passed,” he said.
Lamorde stated that though the judicial process has been a major challenge, he is optimistic that the new practice directive will facilitate quick dispensation of cases that have been pending in court.
“Some cases which were taken to court in 2006 are still are their plea stage because of all kinds of interlocutory injunctions” he stated.
The EFCC boss also told his guests that apart from investigation and prosecution, the Commission engages in public enlightenment and sensitization in its efforts to encourage Nigerians to own the fight against corruption.
He said the Commission is partnering with faith-based organizations to assist the campaign in the area of value re-orientation.
When asked by Moorehead the areas the Commission would need support in the future, Lamorde said the training of investigators and prosecutors should be sustained, while the public enlightenment programme should be supported.
He also canvassed for support in the provision of modern software that will enhance the investigation process.
Moorehead who had earlier commended the efforts of the EFCC in the fight against economic and financial crimes said the DFID and the EFCC have been long standing partners in the fight against corruption.
She commended the chairman for the recoveries the Commission has recorded over the years, adding that the DFID will continue to support the work of the Commission.
Moorehead was accompanied on the visit by Ben Nethar, Head, DFID Nigeria; Oliver Blake, Team Leader, Governance and Social Development, DFID and Catherine Wein, Political Governance Advisor, DFID.