The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has said it secured a total of 2,220 convictions across the country in 2021.
EFCC’s spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday, with the breakdown provided placing the Lagos zonal command of the commission on top of the list of 13 zonal offices and the headquarters, with the highest number of convictions in the last 12 months.
Mr Uwujaren said the figures emerged from a review of the commission’s performance in the outgone year.
The commission said the Lagos zonal command covering Lagos and Ogun States recorded 481 convictions which is the highest number recorded by any other zonal command.
Lagos command is followed by the Ibadan zonal command covering by Oyo, Osun and Ekiti States, which was said to have recorded 324 convictions.
The Port Harcourt zonal command, covering Rivers, Bayelsa and Abia states, is the third on the list with 230 convictions.
Others are include Enugu zone (Enugu, Ebonyi, Imo, and Anambra states), 173; Benin zone (Edo Delta and Ondo), 170; Uyo zone (Akwa Ibom and Cross River states), 142; EFCC headquarters (Abuja) 140; Ilorin zone (Kwara and Kogi states), 137; Kano zone (Kano, Jigawa, and Katsina states), 121; and Abuja zone (FCT, and Nasarawa State), 94
The rest are: Kaduna zone (Kaduna and Niger states), 64, Gombe zone (Adamawa, Gombe, and Bauchi states), 58; Sokoto zone (Sokoto, Kebbi, and Zamfara states) State 38; Maiduguri zone (Borno and Yobe states), 26; Makurdi zone (Benue, Taraba and Plateau states), 22.
Nature of crimes not disclosed
The statement by the commission did not disclose the nature of crimes committed in the cases the convictions were recorded.
But from the regular updates provided by the commission through its website, press releases, and its social media channels, most of the cases are likely to be cybercrimes related which often end up in convictions based on plea bargain arrangements.
Operatives of the commission often raid hotels and other relaxation spots in different parts of the country in hunt for cybercrimes suspects also known as yahoo-yahoo boys.
Suspects in their numbers are regularly paraded by the commission with items seized, sometimes, including cars seized from them.
Last September, EFCC designated Lekki urban area of Lagos Metropolis as the new city hub of internet-related fraud, with a total of 70 suspects arrested in the area within three months. It perhaps explains why the Lagos zone has the highest number of
The commission said the area had become the preferred location in Lagos for all manner of cyber fraud syndicates.
Listed among the communities identified as the cybercrime hotspots in the are Ajah, Badore, Victoria Garden City, Sangotedo and Oniru.
Lekki is located to the east of Lagos city. It is largely regarded as the fast-developing new urban city area of the Lagos metropolis.
The EFCC said its 2021 conviction record is its highest since inception.
“Before 2021, the highest record of conviction by the commission was secured in 2019 with 1,280 convictions,” the press statement stated.
It added that the 2,220 record of 2021 is a 127.5 per cent improvement over the 2019 record.
The commission also stated that the 2,220 record represents a 98.49 per cent success rate in prosecution as the commission lost only 34 cases during this period.
The EFCC statement captured the comment of the chairman of the commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, on the performance record, commending the personnel of the anti-graft agency for their industry and dedication, despite the challenges of criminal prosecution in court.
He pledged that the EFCC would continue to motivate all categories of staff for greater efficiency through capacity development and other incentives.
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