The acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu has called for support from Nigerian artistes and comedians in joining the anti-graft agency in the fight against corruption, particularly internet fraud.
While also urging them to lend their voices to the commission’s anti-corruption fight, Magu said they remained key to winning the war against internet fraud, and corruption in general.
“You have a very wide reach, so lend us your voices, please let your works propagate and promote integrity and the right values,” he added.
Magu gave the charge during an interactive session with artistes, comedians and On-Air-Personalities (OAP), which held at the EFCC Headquarters, Jabi, Abuja.
“I urge you to raise a collective slogan against all forms of criminality among our youths, condemn in strong terms, ostentatious living without credible sources of income, particularly the get-rich-at-all-cost syndrome among the youths,” he said.
The anti-corruption czar who stressed the important status of the entertainers, which the Commission attaches to members of Nigeria’s entertainment industry, Magu called on them to join hands with the EFCC in this fight against corruption, because they are needed more than ever before to change the negative narratives about the country being havens of internet fraudsters.
According to him, the EFCC was ready to collaborate with the creative industry in every way possible, with the sole aim of combating the menace of internet fraud and all other forms of economic and financial crimes.
“I have always stressed that we cannot claim to have the monopoly of knowledge of how to fight corruption at the EFCC.
“We are, however, driven by the passion to explore all frontiers that will enable us to achieve a better society for our children yet unborn – an egalitarian society and one which we all can be proud of.”
He noted that the engagement with the members of the creative and entertainment industry, was out of great concern about the increasing cases of “yahoo-yahoo” among Nigerian youths, and in the belief that Nigeria’s creative minds was critical to curbing the ugly trend, which has given Nigeria a bad image.
“Let’s find a way to reduce or stop our teeming youths from engaging in internet fraud,” he said.
Speaking on the recent prosecution of popular musician, Afeez Fashola, aka Naira Marley, for charges bordering on internet fraud, Magu stressed with great concern that the EFCC was not “chasing” musicians.
- “Let me use this opportunity to emphasize that we have no issues with any member of this very important sector of the country. I have said it in the past and I will also like to restate, that the EFCC does not go after any innocent person. Our mandate is to rid Nigeria of any form of economic and financial crimes, and internet fraud is not excluded.”
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He further stressed that “there is always intelligence report that our officers get and investigate before effecting a warrant of arrest, and we don’t arrest innocent people”.
The artistes who expressed the desire to heed the EFCC’s clarion call, also urged the Commission to help track the activities of Ministries Departments and Agencies, MDAs entrusted with funds meant to assist entertainers in their job, should be made to account for it and ensure that they get to the recipients of such funds, as this is necessary for them not to look in the direction of internet fraudsters, who are more than willing to provide funding for entertainers.