Whistleblowing Goes South As EFCC Drags Two To Court

By Daniels Nwokike

Two persons have been dragged to court on Tuesday by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) for allegedly giving false information to the Commission.

The duo of Buhari Fannami and Ba-Kura Abdullahi were arraigned before Justice M. T Salihu of the Federal High Court Maiduguri on a one-count charge of allegedly giving false information to the Commission under the whistleblowing policy.

Fannami and Abdullahi who misled the EFCC, made the commission to believe that there were illegally acquired monies both in naira and foreign currencies purportedly buried at the residence of one Ba’a Lawan at Pompomari Layout along Pompomari bypass in Maiduguri but the information turned out to be false after a search of the latter’s residence yielded nothing.

The court judgement read, “That you, Buhari Fannami on or about the 8th day of May, 2017 at Maiduguri, Borno State, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did make statement to Officers of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission under the Whistle Blowing policy to the effect that large sums of money being the proceeds of crime were buried in the residence of Ba’a Lawan at Pompomari Layout along Pompomari Bypass, Maiduguri which information/statement you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under sections 39 (2) (a) and 39 (2) (b) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act 2004 respectively”.

The accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charge but the prosecuting Counsel, Alkassim Ja’afar asked for a trial date to be fixed and also prayed the court to remand the accused persons in prison custody pending their trial.

The presiding judge, Justice Salihu, after listening to the allegation by the prosecutor, adjourned the case to June 7 and 8, 2017 for hearing and ordered the accused persons to be remanded in prison.

It would be recalled that the Acting Chairman,  Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibrahim Magu during the May Day celebration, urged Nigerian workers to resolve to put a stop to the looting of public funds by becoming active whistle blowers.

However, the act of whistle blowing calls for thoroughness, complete certainty and should be devoid of speculation and guess work.

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