The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL) has hailed the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for saving Nigeria from a planned heist of $9.6b by a fraudulent Irish outfit known as Process and Industrial Development (P&ID).

This was contained in a press release issued on Thursday by CACOL’s Coordinator For Research and Documentation Mr Okechukwu Ndiribe on behalf of the Centre’s Executive Chairman, Mr Debo Adeniran.

Citing Thursday’s order by an Abuja Federal High Court that both the local and foreign arms of the scam corporate body must forfeit all their assets to the Federal Government, the CACOL boss stated that: “This revealed how far some unscrupulous Nigerians could go to undermine the interest of their fatherland  with the collusion of international fraudsters masquerading as foreign investors and contractors.”

He continued: “The fact that the suspected Nigerian conmen could plead guilty to the 21 charges levelled against them by EFCC indicates that the whole transaction was a grand fraud cooked up to fleece Nigeria of its hard-earned resources especially at this period of economic adversity.”

CACOL also praised Justice Edward Ekwo who heard the case and took a firm decision to convict the Nigerian fraudsters and their foreign collaborators to serve as a deterrent to others.

CACOL is however unhappy that the judge did not sentence the convicts to terms of imprisonment to send a clear signal to both local and foreign fraudsters to steer clear of Nigeria in future.   

CACOL also calls on EFCC to dig deeper into the entire scam and apprehend all others that may have been directly or remotely involved in this all-time attempted heist that could cost the entire nation about one-third of its entire budgetary income projection for 2019.

Finally, we also recommend that Muhammad Kuchazi, Adamu Usman and all other Nigerians convicted of involvement in this economic sabotage should be jailed for life for going this far to undermine the economy of Nigeria in pursuit of their own narrow pecuniary interests.