The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has vowed to expose politicians and their sponsors after its findings showed that some politicians were sponsored for elections by internet fraudsters, known as ‘yahoo boys.’
Concise News learned that EFCC made this known by the Port Harcourt Zonal Head of the Commission Abdulrasheed Bawa.
Bawa said this on Tuesday while giving an update of the anti-graft agency’s collaboration with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the fight against internet fraud.
“Cybercrime is tarnishing Nigeria’s image and killing genuine businesses. We will soon make public names of suspected cybercriminals and the candidates they sponsored to contest public offices,” Bawa said.
He noted that the publication would be done at the end of its ongoing investigation.
Also, he disclosed that the Port Harcourt zone of the anti-graft agency had arrested 105 cybercrime suspects, securing 32 convictions of fraudsters in the last eight months.
According to him, we had secured the conviction of 149 oil thieves between January and August 2019.
Meanwhile, the agency disclosed that the commission has been pulling on 13 suspected internet fraudsters on FBI’s watch list, he added that one Ogbonnah Atoukaritou, who was formerly based in London; and one Chidi Egbeonu, formerly based in Japan, were currently in EFCC prison.
Bawa further said, “The last eight months have been months of intensive and extensive investigations and prosecution of oil-related and several internet-related cases in which the zone has recorded 149 convictions, recovered N268,934,375.75, $2,012,568.00 and 15,000.00 euros; with 162 cases pending in court.”
Recall that the former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Timi Frank has called on the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to work with the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) to clampdown on politicians he described as ‘Yahoo-Yahoo’ who brazenly steal public funds.
According to him, the ‘Yahoo politicians’ in Nigeria had been responsible for the breeding of internet fraudsters known as ‘Yahoo Yahoo boys’ in the country.
The activist who was reacting to a long list of young internet fraudsters recently released by the FBI commended the FBI and other international security agencies for their onslaught against fraudsters in the country.
Frank in a statement said that a situation where a governor, minister or any other government appointee who was nowhere financially before they get into public office suddenly become stupendously affluent after their tenure in that office need to be investigated
According to him, until the EFCC and the ICPC stop protecting ‘Yahoo politicians’, both in and out of government, it will be difficult to discourage the prevalence of internet fraud being perpetrated by some young Nigerians.
Frank further stated “corruption is gradually becoming criteria to get an appointment, especially under the current administration.
“The ‘Yahoo politicians’ are the role models of these ‘Yahoo Yahoo Boys.’ Those in government today are not immune. They have turned Nigeria to the capital of poverty in the world.
“The ‘Yahoo’ appointees and governors will throw elaborate parties and dinners once they assume public office because they see it as an opportunity to loot the treasury.
“When you look at the antecedent of most of the members of the recently inaugurated federal cabinet, the majority of them have been guests of either the EFCC or the ICPC in the past. If known criminals are accorded such privileges, then, what is the government telling the young ones?
“It is only in Nigeria that a suspect and an anti-corruption prosecutor would later become members of the federal executive council.
“In a country where about 90% of citizens are living in abject poverty, the ‘Yahoo Yahoo politicians’ in the National Assembly have no qualms budgeting N5.5 billion to acquire choice SUVs for themselves. That most university graduates are roaming the streets jobless is a cause for concern.
“The Yahoo presidency fights corruption only on the pages of Newspapers, labels the opposition elements as thieves while it openly and consciously protects the armed-robbers within the government.
“Even the institutions established to fight corruption have been politicized and heavily compromised. They dare not touch the ‘yahoo politicians’ in the good books of the ruling party.”