Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Receives the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)

Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Receives the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)

Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Receives the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)

Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Receives the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)

The Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace, and Security, Ambassador Dr. Abdel-Fatau Musah, welcomed the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Olanipekun Olukoyede, on 20 June 2024 in Abuja.

The purpose of the courtesy visit was to discuss areas of collaboration between ECOWAS and the Network of Anti-Corruption Institutions in West Africa (NACIWA). The Chairman of EFCC took advantage of the visit to inform ECOWAS about the upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Network and to seek collaboration on this event.

It will be recalled that in 2022, Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), was elected as the Chair of NACIWA in line with NACIWA whose establishment was facilitated by ECOWAS. This visit equally underscored the ongoing commitment of both institutions to address pressing regional challenges, including terrorism, judicial corruption, and extraterritorial investigation of crimes.

During the meeting, discussions centered on enhancing regional cooperation to combat terrorism, disrupt terrorist financing, and address judicial corruption through structural reforms. The importance of strengthening collaboration with national anti-corruption institutions and fostering cross-border cooperation to tackle illicit financial flows and cross-border crime was also highlighted.

Ambassador Abdel-Fatau Musah emphasized that terrorism remains a major threat in West Africa. He noted the complexities of tracking and disrupting terrorist financing across borders and stressed the necessity of collaborative efforts with neighboring countries, especially in the light of recent political developments in the region. He added that addressing judicial corruption was critical for promoting good governance, as corruption undermines judicial integrity and facilitates “cash and carry justice” where decisions are influenced by financial incentives rather than the rule of law.

The Chairman of EFCC, Mr. Olanipekun Olukoyede, while emphasizing the good track record of the EFCC, reiterated his commitment to combating economic and financial crimes and highlighted the strong relationship between security and economic stability. He emphasized the need for cooperation to tackle illicit financial flows and promote good governance, stating, “Upon assuming office, I pledged to assist in addressing the challenges of corruption and ensuring peace in our country and the region. We must work together to synergize our efforts and move the Commission and our nations forward.” He also stressed the importance of supporting the mandate of the Network of National Anti-Corruption Institutions in West Africa (NACIWA) and revitalizing its activities.

Efforts to fight corruption are supported by various ECOWAS protocols and initiatives. The Directorate of Political Affairs is collaborating with partners, including the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), to support the 6th Annual General Assembly of NACIWA. This assembly aims to develop guidelines on asset recovery and borderless investigations, enhancing regional efforts against corruption.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).