By Philomina Attah
Abuja – Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu, on Friday said plans were underway for an MOU between Nigeria and South Africa on assets recovery and repatriation.
Magu disclosed this at the closing ceremony of the two-week capacity-building and mentorship programme for 10 officials of the Liberian Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) at the EFCC Academy in Abuja.
Under the agreement, assets stolen from Nigeria to South Africa would be repatriated and vice versa, according to him.
“You know that corruption is a border less crime and we have signed MoUs with several countries on the need to exchange information and intelligence, and conduct joint operations.
“Last week I was in South Africa; there is a process ongoing to sign an MoU that we can just walk to the country and recover assets stolen by our citizens with their help and likewise them over here too,” he said.
Magu said the training was requested by President George Weah of Liberia during a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, having seen Nigeria’s success story in the fight against corruption.
According to him, the programme was sponsored by the Federal Government through the EFCC under a bilateral partnership between the two countries.
“It is a good thing. We are willing to partner with all nations in the fight against corruption and the credit should go to the president who has no reservation for fight against corruption.
“We have had several African countries who were here for same training. Niger, Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Kenya and now Liberia all benefited from this academy,” Magu added.
He advised looters to turn a new leaf, stating that there was no hiding place for them.
In a goodwill message, the Liberian president thanked the Nigerian government for the technical assistance and information exchange.
Weah, who was represented by the Liberian Ambassador to Nigeria, Al-Hassan Conteh, said that the lesson learned here would go a long way in his country’s fight against corruption.
“This training is the result of the articulation of the exchange of the two presidents by the chairman of the EFCC and his dynamic staff.
“This training will, therefore, enable the government of Liberia to combat corruption by instilling in its citizens the values which have been lost as a result of decades of deprivation.
“We believe that corruption constitutes a major impediment to national development. It erodes faith in government because of mismanagement and misappropriation of public resources,” he said.
Mr Isaac Davies, the Chairman of LACC, said that back home, the country was set to open a digital forensic lab and in the process of doing that, they needed to acquire new skills and techniques.
He added that the experience from the training was wonderful, interactive and rewarding “because we were able to learn something new”.