The acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, has raised concerns over the increasing cases of fake Non-Governmental Organizations, NGOs and Civil Society groups in Borno State taking advantage of Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, warning that they will not be spared by the Commission.
Speaking through the Head, Maiduguri Zonal Office of the EFCC, Lawrence Iwodi, Magu noted that it was unfortunate that some individuals were taking advantage of the plights of Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs in the state, by exploiting them through fake NGOs.
Iwodi expressed the concerns during a familiarization visit to the Executive Director of the Civil Society Organizations in Maiduguri, Borno State.
He said: “The advocacy of the CSOs in respect of its slogan ‘the voice of the voiceless’ is similar to the mission and vision of the EFCC in the fight against graft.
“President Muhammadu Buhari said, ‘if we don’t kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria’.
“Those that are suffering are the ones that cannot talk. When you succeed with your mission, the society will progress.”
While warning against taking advantage of the plights of IDPs in the North-East in general, he said, the EFCC will not waste time in prosecuting those who are perpetrating evil and defrauding the public in the guise of running NGOs.
“The EFCC has received various complaints from individuals who were defrauded by fake NGOs,” he said, stressing that it was necessary for NGOs to register with the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering, SCUML.
Further addressing the Executive Director, he charged the CSOs to watch out for fraudulent NGOs and report them to the Commission for proper investigation and subsequent prosecution.
He observed that some of the local and international NGOs came in the name of rendering humanitarian assistance, but their activities were far from what they do.
He further urged them to embrace the whistle-blowing policy of the Federal Government, stressing that the EFCC was willing to collaborate with all stakeholders to check money laundering activities in the country.
In response, the Executive Director of the CSOs, Ambassador Shehu Ahmad, promised to collaborate with the EFCC in every way possible. “We represent the voice of the voiceless,” he said, further explaining that the network included CSOs, Labour Unions, NGOs, and Students Unions amongst others.